Building Podcasts From The Ground Up with Sunny Gault

Feb 24, 2023

The Back-Story

Sunny Gault is passionate about helping professionals achieve their podcasting goals. In 2005, she started her first podcast in her backyard. Her show was discovered by a popular video-sharing site which earned her a job and launched her podcasting career. Since then, Sunny has been involved in every aspect of podcasting-from concept and creation to launching her own podcast networks. Sunny is currently the Founder and CEO of Independent Podcast Network, which provides independent podcasters with expert tools and resources to stay competitive. Sunny also explains how to master the 5 Ps of Podcasting with her free online podcast courses! Her most recent podcast, Podcast Your Business, teaches entrepreneurs how to have a successful podcast that benefits their business. Prior to podcasting, Sunny was an award-winning broadcast journalist, having worked at television and radio stations across the country. Sunny lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and their four children.

Show Notes

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In This Episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:28] Sunny’s inspiring story of business success
[5:40] What’s something that didn’t go as Sunny planned?
[16:40] How did she assemble her team?
[22:59] How did she make the decision on where to spend money on?
[30:30] On hiring coaches
[39:07] What’s exciting in Sunny’s business?
[45:37] Outro


Read Transcript

Tim Melanson: Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

Excited for today’s guest. She’s the c e O of Independent Podcast Network. She’s a podcast coach and a mentor, and what she does is she helps podcasters successfully launch, grow, and monetize their shows. Very excited to be rocking out today with Sunny.

Sunny Gault: You got it. Ready? Rock. You got it? I’m ready to rock.

Yes. You said the French thing again. . No, you did a great job, . Thank

Tim Melanson: you. So we always start off here on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we, that we can be in inspired

Sunny Gault: by. Oh my goodness. So as you mentioned, I help podcasters launch and, and grow their shows. Um, but before I really did that, I had been in podcasting for a long time before I did that, I was just a podcaster and I say just a podcaster, but you know, Tim, like that’s a lot

Just to produce one show is a lot. One of the things that I’m really proud of, I think is being able to, um, have. Work from home business, kind of grow with my life and allow myself to be able to enjoy the things in life that are really important to me. And the first thing that I think of is my family. So I’m a mom.

I’ve got four kids. I used to say little kids, but now, uh, they’re in elementary school. So I don’t know if you can really say ele, you know, young kids at that point. Um, but what I did was I, you know, was kind of. Stage of life where, um, you know, I was starting to have a family and my, my background was in, um, in journalism and doing radio and TV and things like that.

And I didn’t wanna do that anymore. I wanted something that was a little bit more relaxed. And like I said, we wanted to start a family and that was right when kind of podcasting and YouTube and things like that were becoming a thing. And I thought, well, I’ve got the skillset to be able to do that. Right.

I, you know, was doing that, you know, for TV stations and radio stations. . And so, um, starting my own business and what that allowed me to do, um, is be there for every step of the way With my kids. I never really had to have a babysitter unless my husband and I wanted a little bit of a break. We did do that occasionally, but, you know, I hear horror stories and I would do podcast episodes on this because the shows that I would.

I was doing was focused on, um, parenting and pregnancy and things like that. And I would hear these horror stories about parents who had to leave their kids, you know, had to go back to work, miss their kids first steps, you know, weren’t able to do a lot of the things that. Quite frankly, I kind of took for granted, uh, if, if anything I was like, get me out of the house.

Um, but it was still so important. And so when I look back, um, on like their, their early days and growing up and stuff, I’m just so thankful that I had that. And I really do list that as one of my biggest accomplishments cuz for me, Yes, you have to make money. Yes. You know, that’s kind of what makes the whole world go round.

But for me, everything boils down to family. So if I were to, you know, just kind of narrow it down to one thing, it’s that independence that allowed me to be there, um, when they were sick, you know, and not having to call off work, you know, I just, you know, maybe do my work at three o’clock in the morning or whatever.

You know, just having that flexibility, um, to, to be there for them. So that’s, that’s my number.

Tim Melanson: Wow. Yeah. Congratulations on that. I mean, that’s awesome. And I know for me as well, I had the same goal and I left my cubicle job when he, my son was one year old. And uh, wow. I was, I was pretty much the only dad showing up to all the parent teachers stuff.

I love it at the time. Uh, but yeah, I mean the, it was so much harder back then too. Um, so, you know, it just keeps getting easier, don’t you? .

Sunny Gault: Yes. And we get, we keep getting smarter, at least hopefully entrepreneurs, you know, you learn as you go and sometimes that’s the best education. It can be frustrating as you know.

Um, but yeah, the, the technology is getting easier to get this stuff done, so that’s helpful. You know, when I started podcasting, we were still manually coding RSS feeds. We don’t have to do that anymore. Right. And I’m not the techie you are necessarily . I have, you know, I’ve been around equipment a lot, you know, being in radio and tv, so I have to have some experience in that.

But I consider myself more of a content person than a tech person. Um, so some things are becoming easier and I think we’re just getting smarter too, and learning how to use the platforms. Yep,

Tim Melanson: absolutely. And I think a lot of people are connecting with. that why as well too. I think a lot of people nowadays want to be there for their children’s first steps, whereas, you know, especially men, I mean, uh, especially like, uh, cuz back then, I mean, I mean I know my, I don’t think my dad was around , like I can’t imagine he was, cuz he was, he was on the road all the time.

Yeah. So it’s one of those things that people are starting to really value that a lot more. And we do have now the tools and the ability. work from home, right?

Sunny Gault: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, growing up I kinda had a similar situation. Um, my mom for several years worked a, a regular job and then, uh, my dad would work really late hours, you know, they, a lot of times they had double jobs, you know, and things like that.

And so I was always so excited from my dad to come home from work. I would like run and jump in his arms, right? And. And I think that’s just a testament to how much kids really, you know, want to be with their parents as much as possible. And I know there’s that, I, I’ve done episodes on this too, but that guilt feeling that, you know, that parents have when they can’t do that.

So I, I don’t wanna spread more guilt or anything like that, but it, it’s just, it’s a, it’s a really nice thing to be able to, to do if you can, um, and, you know, not have those regrets moving forward. Yeah.

Tim Melanson: So now, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, , there’s some, oh, no. Things that don’t go as planned. Uh, I mean, and you’ve been doing this for a long time, so tell me something that didn’t work out as as planned, and let’s just kind of normalize that a little

Sunny Gault: bit.

Yeah, absolutely. Well, um, , there’s so many things I could pull from so many things and, and I’m sure people have talked about just the inconsistency with like income sometimes coming in. I mean, it’s really nice when, cuz I’ve done both, right? I’ve worked for TV stations where I show up and I get a paycheck and you know, that’s just how it works and I’ve got benefits and things like that.

Um, you know, You know, have all of that necessarily when you’re, when you’re working on your own. A lot of times, um, the shows that I were producing were based on sponsorships, and this was like 10 years ago when podcast sponsorships and advertising, like, you know, it was few and far between. A lot more shows are making money now.

But in the beginning, oh my goodness. Uh, I mean my, my main way of finding that kind of revenue was going. Um, to trade shows that were specific. Again, I was talking about my shows. My original podcast that I launched were focused on pregnancy and parenting, and so I would go to baby and maternity trade shows, walk the floor with my demo in hand.

Cuz you know, back then it was CDs, pretty much the, the us the mini USBs. You, you know, were, were just coming out. Um, It was a lot of work to educate people about what a podcast was and you know, how does this whole thing work? And oh, now you’re asking me for money to be on your show. You know, , what is all of this?

So that was definitely a struggle. I, I think a lot of people would say that in the beginning is how. , you know, I’ve learned multiple baskets of revenue and income. It has worked for me, right? So I try not to put all my eggs in one basket. Uh, even in running my podcast, you know, sometimes I do consulting work on the side.

I do various things to try to make it work. Um, but I think a lot of people would say that the income, one thing that, um, might be a little bit different that I can bring to the table here is I had an experience that really made me go, oh my gosh. , do I really wanna do this? Like how, um, how committed am I to this?

Because, uh, what happened was this was regarding a sponsor for one of my shows. Okay? So, uh, this was specifically a show that we were producing about breastfeeding your babies. And I had a guest on the show through, um, actually I wasn’t the host of the show, but I was producing, I was producing the show and I owned the rights to the show.

and we were just starting to get into, uh, you know, revenue with a, with advertising and I was so excited. Oh my gosh, finally we’re gonna make some some money with this stuff. Right? And I found what I thought was like the perfect advertiser, which was a company that made baby baby bottles and a really well known company that made baby bottles.

In fact, I had used them with my kids and that’s why I was so passionate about it, because I knew, uh, I, I don’t know how much you or your audience knows about breastfeeding, but sometimes you have to use bottles. You, you gotta kind of get through. Um, you know, sometimes you’re just not there with your baby.

So even if you wanna breastfeed, you gotta use, you gotta use bottles at some point. And so having the right bottle, you could save a breastfeeding relationship. Cuz if your kids kind of get it in their head that they’re not gonna breastfeed anymore, then you’re done. , right? And so I got this advertiser. I was so excited because I was like, like living paycheck to pay and it wasn’t even a paycheck, right?

But I was living sponsorship to sponsorship, , uh, trying to make all of this work at a time where, again, podcast advertising wasn’t really, um, that, you know, uh, you know, there weren’t a lot of people doing it at that time. And I found this advertiser. It worked out really, really well, but I had an expert that had been on my show previously, almost a year prior that found out that I was working with a baby bottle company, and she was a very strict breastfeeding advocate.

Had written numerous books, da, da, da, da, da, and said, um, that I needed to take down her episode if I was going to work with that, uh, company. Um, and the thing is, she’s very, very influential. So I knew if I would take down her episode, I would really be taking into down 40 or 50 episodes from other people that she would convince to take down their episode as well as well.

So it was like a, it was like a, um, a snowball effect. , right? You do it for one person. How do you not do it for everybody? And I knew that going into it. Mm-hmm. . So I had to stand my ground with this. And long story short, she actually sent me paper. Her attorney sent me papers and they were gonna sue me, uh, to take down this episode.

Wow. And it was a really, it was a, she gave really good information in this episode, but again, it wasn’t just about her, it was about all. All of the episodes that were gonna have to be taken down, all of that content that people were still, even though the episodes had been produced years prior, I still had people, moms reaching out to me saying, thank you for doing this.

You saved my breastfeeding relationship with my child. I still had those emails coming in, even though the content had been. Released a while ago. So in my mind, I’m looking at this and I’m going, why am I doing this podcast? Okay. Because now we’re, we’re getting into, I’m not making a lot of money with this anyway.

Now I’ve got this person that wants to sue me because I’m finally bringing on an advertiser that they don’t like. Right. Um, and I really, I had to have kind of a heart, heart conversation with myself to go, why are you doing this? And, and it was, it was to help my community, right? It was, it was to help other moms who had been in situations that I had found myself in the past.

Other moms had found themselves in the past and to help them, um, through what could be a very difficult time in life, depending on how you look at a very challenging time in life. and I thought is taking down these episodes, what is that doing for my community? Again, still getting emails from people saying, I love this.

Thank you so much. You saved me. And I thought, I, I, I, I ki I have to fight this. I have to, you know, so I’ll, that was a very scary time in my life. We ended up resolving it where she didn’t, you know, she basically dropped the charges. Um, but I, I mean, I saw. My family’s income going, going up. And so I had these horrible visions of what could happen with this, you know, and, and it, you know, it was kind of a make or break moment.

I thought, am I even really cut out for, you know, having my own business because who’s, you know, and then I really started looking like, you know, looking at, well, how is my business? , um, you know, I think I was an L L C at the time and I was like, can she sue me and if she does sue me, is she just suing the business or can she take my house?

Like, I didn’t know what this person was gonna do. Right. Or how crazy they were gonna get with it. Yeah. And here I am like you’re recording in my garage, you know, with my baby on my lap. I mean, I’m very grassroots. Um, seemed very unfair. You know, I had a lot of thoughts of all that going through my head, but when I look back, that was a, an extremely challenging time, a very scary time, and it turned out okay and I actually, actually ended up meeting a lot of really cool people as a result.

Um, that, you know, like even I didn’t even know there were podcast attorneys out there. Do you know there’s people that specialize in this? I did not. No. , I, I did not either. Um, who really felt for me and were gonna help me through this whole thing. And, uh, uh, so there’s some really lovely people out there and so some not so lovely people out there.

But, um, Yeah, though, when I, when I look back, by far it was just, it was such a scary time, but it, it gave me so much momentum moving forward, and then I was like rock solid on why I was doing what I was doing, who I was helping. And a, a lot of things fell into place for me. This was no longer just a podcast.

Like this was a stand for my audience, for the, for, you know, women around the world that, you know. Needed to hear what we were talking about. It became much more personal at that point. So I know that was a long answer, but that’s, that’s my, that’s an amazing story, . Oh yeah. It was scary. It was scary, but yeah.

Uh, but it, it worked out in the

Tim Melanson: end. . Yeah. And, and it’s, it sounds like it was a test really to see what you were made of and Absolutely. Uh, and I think that that’s, that’s what a lot of these challenges are. They’re just tests to figure out how serious you are about whatever it is you’re doing. Because as you mentioned, you came out of that stronger than ever.

Sunny Gault: Right. Yes, absolutely. And uh, and I think I even gained a lot of respect from people too. That’s not why I did it. Right. I mean, really, I, I did it from my community cuz I thought, oh my goodness. All of these episodes that have helped these women over the years, I’d have to take all of those down. I’m like, I can’t because the moment that, that it got out, that one person wanted it down, I, cuz I, I, I started to get more and more emails from other people.

W were just following what she did because she’s the leader of the pack. Right. And I was like, I can’t do this. You know, not only did I put so much effort into it, there were other people, other, you know, guests that were, you know, because each, each episode not only had the expert, but I had real life moms on the show that were struggling or going through whatever we were talking about.

All those people volunteered. So, what am I saying? Yeah. To all of them, right? I mean, who cares about not important, right? Yeah. Yeah. Who cares about like, oh yeah, I spent a lot of time on it. Yeah. I edited it. I did all of that. But like it’s more about the people that just did this out of the goodness of their heart.

Wow. So yeah, that was a big moment. . So

Tim Melanson: cancel culture has been around for a little longer than we thought. ,

Sunny Gault: right? But you beat it. Yeah, I guess so. Good job. Even in the breastfeeding space, guys, it’s everywhere. .

Tim Melanson: It’s everywhere. Oh, but hey. And then on the other hand, I mean, that’s the thing, it, it, it really does solidify your tribe as well.

Cuz the people that did end up sticking with you, uh, probably are more, uh, determined about sticking with you now too. They, they see who you are. They see your true colors.

Sunny Gault: I hope so. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. I mean, our, our show is one of those that you’re probably not gonna listen past the time that you’re breastfeeding your show, so we’ve got a lot of turnover with the show.

Yeah. But I’d like to think that during that time people were like, oh, wow. Because it, I mean, it sounds silly, but it, it kind of did make quite a bit of racket in the, the breastfeeding community. Um, but I was. And at the time it was crazy too, cuz I was breastfeeding twins at the time and I’m like, I should be the poster child of who you are going, you know, of who you support, and right now you’re going after someone who is breastfeeding twins and just trying to make some money with a company.

That has saved my breastfeeding relationship with my children in the past. So it was, it was crazy. It was crazy. Yeah. Yeah. It’s messed

Tim Melanson: up. Really. Alright, well cuz that leads us to the next thing, which is the band. Okay. , the people that you have around you, because it sounds to me like you probably have some good people around you.

So tell me about how you assemble a team and all that kind of

Sunny Gault: stuff. Yeah. So, um, at one point I, you know, for my parenting shows, when I launched the shows, there were three podcasts and I knew that I didn’t wanna be the only host for the shows cuz that’s boring. People don’t wanna listen to me that much.

You know, I might have some good stuff to say, but it’s all about the community and getting other people involved. Um, so from the very beginning I had to find other people that would host shows and, you know, sometimes produce shows. And um, what I did in the beginning is I found people who had been guests on other shows or, you know, shows that I’ve been part of in the past that I thought would make a good fit.

Um, and I would invite them. I basically started this whole process of if you wanna be a host on the show or be involved in shows, cuz I ended up launching more shows from there. But I used the model of, come on one of our other shows and let’s see how you do. Right. It was kind of like its own little audition.

And I really couldn’t guarantee pri or like I couldn’t guarantee payment in the beginning. Um, I really wanted to, but again, I am, you know, just trying to get sponsorships. I’m trying to make all of this, I’m the glue that’s holding everything together, but I felt like I was twirling like a million different plates in the air at the same time, and I wasn’t sure what was gonna crash.

And when. Right. So what I did in the beginning is I didn’t promise people a specific payment. What I did is I said it would be a percentage of what was brought in every month through the sponsorships and that, and that worked for a really long time. It worked for over two years doing those podcasts. And at one point, um, Uh, let’s see.

We had at least a, a host and a producer for each show that was just doing it. Um, so we would record once a month and we would record four episodes at a time so that we would space those out throughout the month. Um, so it was basically a weekly podcast. , you know, for, but I had like five shows. I ended up with five shows, started with three, ended up with five, added a couple here and there as we kind of, we grew.

But my teams have always developed very organically. I really feel like I, I like to, I guess that’s promoting from within , if you wanna look at it that way. Right? It’s like, oh, I’ve, I’ve worked with you before or you’ve been a guest on a show. Um, when I found out I was pregnant with twins is when we launched.

Um, Our fourth show out of five and called Twin Talks. And, um, because I thought, oh my goodness, we have to launch a new show. We don’t have something about twins. I’m about to have twins. I got, I gotta learn on my own, right? I gotta figure this out. And so she was the, just a, another, uh, guest on, I think it was our pregnancy show.

And I remember talking to her, she was pregnant with twins at the time. And, and so I reached out and she happened to be the, uh, running. I think it was like a local twins group. And she was like, oh yeah. And so she still does episode. I mean, that was, oh my goodness, like seven or eight years ago and we still record episodes to this day.

And that’s how I found her. was just, she was great on an episode and. And we did it that way. Um, for late later down the road, once we were making a little bit more money and regular income from advertising, I, I bit the bullet and I hired an editor. At that point, I had edited hundreds of podcast episodes, but I mean, I was trained in doing that.

It was one of those things that you had to do. Like I didn’t really wanna do it. There were other things I wanted to focus on, but I also didn’t, I was very nervous about paying somebody to edit my podcast cuz I’m like, well, you know, if they do a really bad job, it doesn’t matter how good I did during the actual recording.

Right? Yeah. But they could edit it and make me look horrible if they wanted to. They probably wouldn’t be working for me very long after that. That was a really, that was a real fear of mine. Um, so with that, I asked for referrals. I, you know, was working with some other, uh, podcasts at the time. I said, do you have anyone editing your show?

Uh, a lot of times they’ll kind of give you a one-off just to kind of test and see if you like working with them. So, I did that outsourcing, my editing was probably, uh, uh, one of the biggest decisions that I’ve had to make for the shows. It was also the smartest decision was to let some of that go, because again, it does free you up, you know, as a, you know, work from home person, you know, , you’re, you’re the c e o, you’re this, you’re there, you’re the marketing person, you’re, you’re everything combined into one.

And to let some of that go, that was taking up a lot of time and editing was taking up a lot of time. , um, that was a really big deal. So, That’s how I, I found most of my team is either through referrals or I, you know, I’ve already worked with them. So, uh, I’ve done a lot of, of, of coaching people, like when I would bring up people I mentioned, like they were guests and I would bring them into a hosting position.

Most of the time they didn’t have any experience hosting. So there was a little bit of coaching that came with that. And, you know, a little cheerleader actually, you can do it. Come on. Um, and, uh, y you know, There wasn’t necessarily a job posting for a lot of this stuff. It just happened naturally. Hi, my name is an, I’m from Mastering Ascension and I’ve been working with Tim Lanson and the Creative Crew Agency for a number of years now.

Tim is my go-to guy for all things technology, and his team have helped me to really. Create the platform that I need that represents my brand, my message, and connects me directly to my ideal clients. What I particularly love about Tim is before he starts to dive into the technology, he always makes sure that he understands what your global view is, what your ultimate goals are, so then that way you’re not wasting a lot of time back and forth.

Switching around technology or platforms, he creates something from the GetGo that is scalable, which is highly, highly, um, beneficial for any business. What I’ve experienced from Tim and his team is they’re highly responsive. They are a wealth of information, and they’re gonna offer you the tools that you need to really make the mark that you wanna make in the world.

So that’s my recommendation for Tim. He’s awesome. You’re gonna love every. You won’t regret it.

Tim Melanson: Right on. So, uh, we mentioned like money a few times in this and cash flow. Yeah. And I’m wondering, can we talk a little bit more about, maybe even take us to the beginning, like, so how did you make the decisions on what you should be spending money on, what you shouldn’t be spending money on?

Sunny Gault: Well, I think in the beginning it was, spend as little money as possible. Do as much sweat equity as you can. Right. Um, and then, Once we started to, you know, bring on more sponsorship funding that was more, or advertising, it was more about, okay, what are things that I really don’t wanna do that I’d really like to hand off to someone.

Um, but yeah, I mean, some stuff, I mean, in, in the very beginning I was. Before sponsorship really kicked in, I had a credit card and, you know, I would put my not advocating for that per se, but that, that did get me through sometimes where there just wasn’t any money. , I mean, I just put it on a credit card and thankfully things worked themselves.

I, I try not to let it get outta hand, but if you’ve gotta pay for certain things, you know, and the advertiser hasn’t sent in the check yet or whatever. Uh, which is still kind of a problem for podcasting. Sometimes advertisers don’t send in checks for months. You, you can put 30 day, you know, invoices all you want, but sometimes it doesn’t happen.

Sometimes you don’t know when you’re gonna get your checks. So it’s a very real struggle. Um, but I think, um, just trying to limit what I needed, doing more on my own, finding people that would volunteer, um, to, I mean, most of the stuff was kind of volunteer in the beginning, and then as money started to come in, it was.

I’ll give you a percentage of this, but we’re talking, I mean, sometimes I was giving out, uh, 20 bucks to someone a month. Oh, I’m not, they were not getting rich off of this. Right. But they also had a passion for it, and I think that’s important too. Right? Yeah. I, I know we all need money to make things work right now, but.

at the same time. It, it does help when someone’s really passionate about it and is getting more out of it than just the, the paycheck. So in my case, a lot of the people that worked on the show, in fact, I think all of them were, um, experiencing some of the stuff that we were talking about on the show. So it was almost therapeutic.

It was kinda like free therapy, Hey, come work on the podcast and. Air your grievances about parenting and pregnancy. Yeah. And it’s much cheaper than having to pay, um, you know, a, a therapist . So yes, you get 20 bucks . Exactly. . Exactly. You made 20 bucks by telling us your problems. It works out great. Really.


Tim Melanson: absolutely. And what about, so, uh, you know that that’s, uh, about spending money now. What about any tips or tricks about how to actually. You know, maybe make these people pay you more on time and stuff like that. Have you, have you

Sunny Gault: found any tricks? Yeah. Um, maybe not so much with getting people to pay you on time.

Although, um, some of those, a lot of that is, is worked itself out with the, um, ad agencies. Now. A lot of ad ad agencies are kind of the go-between, but I just have had, believe it or not, this has not happened to me in. Uh, we finished an ad campaign for a, uh, an advertiser. There was, um, an ad agency that was the go between, but it’s been months now and, uh, the advertiser hasn’t paid.

I haven’t had that happen in a real, and you’re talking about thousands of dollars. And I, I have not had that happen in a long time. So this is a fairly relevant discussion because I’ve got this ongoing thing. Um, You know, I mentioned earlier about having multiple buckets of revenue. I think that that’s really smart because then you’re not just basing everything on advertising.

So one of the things that we have done in the past, um, you know, after, after launching all those podcasts, I eventually started my own podcast network cuz I had a lot of experience in this and I wanted to help other shows. And so, um, one of the things that we have done, um, we’ve kind of played around with me.

Fees. You know, I, I’ve also charged for communities in the past, uh, advertising, obviously being one of them. Um, I’ve sold different courses in the past, so I, you know, I, I try to spread things out as much as possible because you never know. Well, COVID was a great example of this. When Covid first hit, all the advertising stopped.

It was like, cuz they didn’t know what to expect. Right. And I was like, oh my goodness. Like can you imagine if all of your funding was just coming from advertising? Yeah. At least I had other things. Yeah. My, my revenue went way down for a bit, but at least I, I had other things to bring in, um, bring in money for the business.

So that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned is to diversify as much as possible. Try to think as you know, as many ways as you can of bringing in, you know, funding, affiliate deals, things like that. Don’t expect one thing to be your all with this, because you just never know when something’s really gonna hit that market or whatever it is, and it’ll stop.

And that’s a really scary feeling when you own your own.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Been there , right? Yeah. It’s one of those things, yeah. You have to find, you have to find as many different ways as possible to diversify, like e even just different types of projects and mm-hmm. , you know, there, there’s, there’s lots of different ways that you can offer the same service with different payment structures as well too.


Sunny Gault: Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah. . Uh huh absolutely. And different pricing models too. I’ve learned that too. You know? Um, done a lot of like, get ’em in the door with this and then, you know, there’s the whole marketing side behind it, which I’m not crazy about, but, you know, um, yeah, having different, uh, different pricing models I think is important too, cuz we’re all coming from different backgrounds and needs and wants.


Tim Melanson: And I think that, I think. People sort of like, I can think, gravitate towards one or the other. Like either they gravitate towards sort of like this recurring like, uh, retainer income versus like the one-off projects, you know? Yeah, yeah. And I know I, I gravitate more towards the one-off projects. It’s just, I, I like getting in, doing something cool and then leaving.

Goes doing something

Sunny Gault: else. I’m like, and I’m done with that now.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, yeah. And you just keep on getting the like new, exciting things. But what I found over the time is that you, what happens if you don’t sell one this month? Or I know, you know what happens if something, next thing you know, now you’re super desperate.

Now you start to like offer crazy sales and next thing you know, you’re attracting the wrong clients. And now you know, it, it, it is a weird, weird scenario where the less you charge for something. Uh, like lower than what it’s actually worth. The worse the clients are. It’s just, it’s insane.

Sunny Gault: I know. Yeah.

Yeah. It’s, it’s the whole thing. Well, it costs more money, so it must be worth more. And you get sometimes, sometimes better people, but sometimes not. I’ve had really poor clients that, you know, I’ve coached for podcasting that have been high payers, and I’m like, oh, never again. .

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yeah. You know? Yeah. I mean, you get someone in both those buckets, but definitely, yeah.

It is, it is useful to do the market research, figure out what you’re supposed to be charging and charged somewhere around there, right? Yes, exactly. Uh, if you’re too far up or too far down, you’re gonna probably end up into some weird troubles with, with people either expecting too much because you’re charging more Uhhuh, , uh, or expecting too much cuz you’re charging too little.

I that, I find that weird, but they do. Yes. Yep. So you mentioned you’re a coach and I’m wondering Yeah. Like what’s. Uh, thought towards hiring coaches. Like have you ever hired a coach? Like what, what’s your thoughts on all that?

Sunny Gault: Yeah, I mean, if you would’ve asked me this question mm, maybe nine months ago, uh, my answer would’ve been much different.

But I, nine months ago, I hired my first business coach. Um, and what happened was, I guess there’s a little bit of. , what would you call it? Pride maybe? I don’t know. Like if, if you, if you think about the people that are really good at things in life, most of them have coaches. Like you think of athletes have coaches, they kinda have to, right?

But they do, they have coaches. Um, so why wouldn’t someone in business need a coach? Um, one of the, one of the things that I have realized in podcasting for as long as I have, um, just with podcasting, I noticed that sometimes when you’re doing your own podcast, it feels really lonely, right? And that’s one of the reasons I launched a podcast network is because I was like, oh, I don’t want all these shows to feel lonely.

And then I got to the point where I was doing networks for a while, and then I launched a group, a mentor group that was focused on people running podcast networks. So there’s this theme in my life, I guess, of wanting to help people. You know, are kind of at the top and not really knowing what to do. But I recently, like I said, hired my own business coach, kind of went through that whole process.

Um, and, uh, it was, it was one of those situations where I’ve just been beating my head trying to figure out how to make certain business things work. And sometimes you’re just so close to the project. You can’t see. You can’t see past your mistakes that you’ve made, the frustrations that you’ve had in the past.

You keep regurgitating the same ideas, expecting a different outcome. And that’s the definition of insanity. Right? And so that’s kind of where I was with, um, With some parts of my business and I was like, what? How do I, how do I break past this? And it wasn’t even me that was like, I need to get a business coach.

It was a friend of mine saw me banging my head basically against my keyboard saying, you need a business coach. What do you think about bringing on someone? And at first it was like, Oh, that means I can’t do this on my own. But the truth was I couldn’t do it on my own. Like I was just in a rut. And you played and, and then you get in these mental mind games.

Right. And I, so I needed like a clear and a clean slate and I can’t really say that I did a ton of research to find the perfect, you know, coach out there for me. I do a lot of trusting my. on stuff cuz I don’t, I don’t usually have a lot of time to do a lot of research. I try to do some, but when something feels good and I’m like, feel like I got a connection with someone in this case, which is one of the things I think you really need for a coaching.

Like if you’re doing a one-on-one coach, you really have to feel like you connect with the person. Um, that’s all I did and it, it was, I did it in one afternoon. That’s as much research as I did and had a consulting call. I think that’s important too, to kind of feel like. Again, there’s that rapport. You gotta have that rapport and you gotta feel like when it comes to you getting coached on your business, I really feel like you have to not only have that rapport, but also feel comfortable, um, sharing things with that person related to your business that may be uncomfortable.

You know, like for me. Like, I don’t like to necessarily talk about like money a lot. Like, yes, we need it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But like, it’s not something that comes up in my day-to-day conversations. It’s just what, what we need. Right? And so my business coach has forced me to kind of, we, we just got done with this really big audit that we just did, not just like line items and figuring out pennies and cents.

Not like that, but like, Looking at everything that I was doing for the business, really being honest with myself about what was working and what was not working, what was I fooling myself to think was working but not really working right. It was just hanging on strings and I was really trying to preserve that for another reason.

Right. Um, and it really took going through this with her. Um, a lot of it was internal work, but I also went through the stuff with her. And even it was great because even the stuff that I tried to. Uh, you know, I didn’t even realize I was trying to make excuses for why we should keep this one project or we should continue to do this, and she would call it out for what it is.

So having that pair of eyeballs that is just like, you know, going to be. Like, not necessarily brutally honest, but just really question and, and just, you know, get to the bottom of what, what’s really going on here I think is really, really important. So, yeah. Um, yeah, that was my first experience having my own coach.

But now that I reflect upon things, you know, these mentor groups and things that I have created, these kind of, uh, You know, these, a lot of these groups that are related to podcasting, I mean, that’s what I was trying to do. I was trying to help people so they didn’t feel like they were doing things alone.

And I, and what I needed to do, I, I should have hired my coach way sooner for sure.

Tim Melanson: For sure it, it probably gave you a bit of a different perspective too, about how it feels to be on the other side of the coaching

Sunny Gault: relationship, right? Yeah. Yeah. She gave me a lot of ideas too. I’m like, oh, that’s how you do that.

Well, that makes a lot more sense. In fact, I switched over. I just end up switching over my whole like platform that I use for invoicing and scheduling and everything, because that’s what she used, and she would send me invoices. I’m like, these are. Fall. This whole, this whole system you have is gorgeous.

How do I, how do I replicate that? So you never know what you’re gonna learn. I, that was something I didn’t even know that I needed. I didn’t need to know, you know, I didn’t know that I needed to condense all these programs into one that could do everything for me. That would create a lot less headache and, you know, um, you know, Just, I was spending a, like a lot of extra money for multiple programs when one program did it.

All right. Yeah. Things like that. Yep. Sometimes, sometimes the CEOs or entrepreneurs or whatever, we don’t, we don’t have a opportunity to like go back and really play c e O. We’re so busy doing everything that. You know, going back and really seeing how the company has run and, you know, can we do things better?

Are we wasting money that gets pushed off to the side? But what you’ll find a lot of times when working with a coach is they’ll force you to go down those roads that, you know, you just, you have to make time for it, or your business is gonna suffer. You may not have a business if you don’t take the time to do that.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Well, and I think it’s because a lot of, probably most businesses, It’s a passion and it’s something that you got into, you, you, you, you probably were super messy, you know, getting it out the door and just kind of trying to make things work and, you know, everything is the way it is because that’s the best you could do at the time.

Yeah. And, and we spend so much time defending ourselves. . You know, I, I, I don’t know, man. I, I imagine, I think things are getting more entrepreneurial now, but the, the longer ago you started your business, the less support you probably had from your friends and family about quitting the cubicle job and going, and starting this little thing, right?

And so, yeah, you’re always defending, defending. No, no, no, it’s good. No, no, no. It’s good. It’s good. And then when you get to talk to a coach, they’re basically making you kind of. No, no, no, no. I don’t want the answer that you give to everybody else. Yeah, yeah. I want the real answer. Cause we’re not gonna be able to fix these problems unless you actually phase up to them.

Sunny Gault: Yeah. And I remember you just brought back a memory for me when I first launched my, my po, my parenting shows, and I was trying to find sponsorship and I was recording every weekend and my husband would see me like going through all of this and he is like, you know, I. I admire the fact that you’re trying to do this.

It’s not bringing in money. And I see you working yourself to death here. Like he fa you know, he didn’t see. Yeah, what I saw, the potential. And, and, and again, this is way based. He is like podcasting. Podcasting isn’t gonna go anywhere. And so now when like, it’s so funny, he does this to me all the time.

They’re like on tv they’ll be like, oh, we also have a podcast. And he always looks at me cuz he is like, Oh my God. Totally underestimated what you were doing back then because he just thought I was just this, it was just crazy. You know? Why is she working herself to death for this thing that’s never gonna take off?

And no one’s ever gonna know what a podcast is. It’s this weird new thing, right? And now it’s B, you know, and now what? Celebrities have podcasts and stuff now, so it’s common. , you are ahead of the curve. , I guess. Yeah. Just crazy enough to do it before other people. .

Tim Melanson: Well done. Well, okay, so it’s time for your guest solo.

So tell me what’s exciting in your business then.

Sunny Gault: Oh my goodness. So we’re branching out and we’re doing some different things. I always tell people in podcasting when you, when you’re working in any kind of new space, whether it’s crypto or whatever you’re working in, if things are constantly changing, my biggest piece of advice for people is to roll with the punches.

And what I mean by that, and I, I’m not a big boxing fan, but I do know that if someone’s coming at you with a punch, You go with the punch and not against it. Okay. So I have adopted this mentality into how I do my business. And when you are in podcasting right now, it’s a very fluid kind of industry.

There’s a lot of things still trying to be figured out. Um, and so I always tell people when, you know, like if I’m bringing on, I just brought on a virtual assistant a few months ago as well, that was a recommendation from my podcast coach. Um, or not podcast coach, but my coach who you know is coaching me on my.

Business. Yep. Um, so yeah, for me it is all about trying new things, seeing what works, keep the stuff that does work, throw out the stuff that doesn’t, right. That’s what I call rolling with the punches. So one of the things that’s new that is actually going to be debuting about the time this episode is coming out, um, and it kind of has a funny story to go along with it, is I am a, a new podcast coach for Kajabi Univers.

So if you guys are familiar with Cajabi, they, you know, it’s a, it’s a, a, I don’t know, I think they have about 60,000, uh, businesses that use their software. But it can do everything from, you know, launching a, a, a website for you, doing courses, sending marketing emails, lead pages, all of that kind of stuff.

Um, communities as well. It’s everything wrapped up into one. So you pay one fee and you get all this stuff. Quick story about that. Um, I, well, I ended up doing a course for them that is being released in February and it is a How-to podcast course because they started to add podcasting, like podcast hosting to their platform.

So you could create a podcast and use Kajabi to host your podcast. Well, the story behind it is this, I was using it for other things. I log in one day, uh, to Kajabi and I see podcasts new, which of course is gonna catch my attention, right. and I’m like, what is this? So, you know, do a couple clicks. Find out that they’ve now got some, you know, hosting information up there for podcasts, but there’s no information about how two podcasts.

So there was, I felt that there was a, uh, a gap. I was like, great, you can host a podcast, . What’s a podcast? How do you do this? The whole thing. So what I did, cuz I’m not scared of doing this, I’ve done this multiple times in my life. Like I don’t look at the odds of something. If I have a urge to do something, I’m just like, what’s the worst thing that’s gonna happen?

I’m just gonna put myself out there. I get denied. I get denied. So I reached out through their customer support, like their chat or whatever, and I said, Hey, I’m a podcast coach. I see that you and I use Cajabi. I see. You are now hosting a podcast, but you don’t have any information on this. I, you know, I even have a podcast course and it’s hosted on Kajabi.

Like, is there anything we can do, can we work together at all? So I got nowhere with that and I thought, well, how can I, cuz I still felt like I needed to talk to these people somehow. So I go on LinkedIn and I’m searching for people that work at Kajabi. Someone pops up who’s a new employee, but is in.

Somehow the marketing department, I can’t remember his title, but he was like new. He was there for like two months and I thought, oh, he’s still excited about his job. , you know, he hasn’t gotten in trouble for giving out too many people’s information yet, so maybe I can go through LinkedIn and, you know, tell him my ideas.

So I did on a whim. Never, never thought I would hear. . He emailed me back pretty quickly through LinkedIn and he said, here’s who you need to talk to. Let me do an email introduction. And that was their, uh, someone in charge of education. Right. Which Cajabi University, they do a whole bunch of different courses for free for their users.

So it made sense. So we went back and forth and, uh, yeah, she’s like, oh my gosh, we were looking for someone just like you. We just hadn’t found them yet. I was like, here I’m . So that’s exciting. Um, we, we ha it’s been in production for a while. We shot it a while ago actually. Um, but it’s been in production for a while.

It’s coming out in, uh, February of 2023. And so that’s what I would say that that, you know, that’s kind of the, the big exciting thing. Obviously I’m using this as a way for people to find out more about our network and what we do. Um, and the fact that it’s free is really nice. Uh, Cajabi, uh, mainly works with like entrepreneurs and coaches and things like that, which is the type of people that I prefer to work with for podcasting.

Um, and so I think it’s a. Opportunity for that. I’m excited to see what happens. I’m also trying not to get my hopes up because you know how sometimes this stuff goes, it’s like, yeah, you get so excited and it’s like five people reach out to you afterward. Um, but I have things set up, so hopefully it’s a great funnel for the, for the future.

Um, so that’s, that’s the, a really big thing. Um, the other thing is I do have a podcast that teaches people how to podcast specifically if you’re interested in podcasting for your business. So if you wanna take your business knowledge and everything and, uh, create a podcast out of that because you love what you do.

It’s a great podcast. It’s called Podcast Your Business, cuz I was really specific with keywords on that. Um, and you can find it in any of your, um, you know, like Apple Podcast, Spotify, any player you’d like. And so that’s a weekly show and that’s an, you know, another way they can. Learn more about me and get some great podcasting.


Tim Melanson: it. Right on. Cool. So what is it? Podcast? Your

Sunny Gault: business, you said? Yeah, podcast. Your business is the name of the podcast. Yeah, it’s everywhere, right? So just kind of type it in. Whatever player you want. Um, independent Podcast Network is, uh, the, the name of our network and it’s. Independent

That’s the r l. So any of those free resources that I was telling you guys about that we just, we just give away cuz we love creating content that’s all on the website. And then if you are at a stage, like if you guys have a podcast and you are at a stage where you’re thinking about advertising, we have a section on advertising.

We’d love to be able to help you with that as well.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. So much fun rocking out with you today, sunny. This has been

Sunny Gault: good time. Yay. Awesome. Thank you so much, Tim.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. And to the listeners, make sure you subscribe right and call. We’ll see you next time with the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

Sunny Gault: Thanks for listening.

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