Pod fading has been happening because people think that producing content always has to be new. However, not many people realize that one of the great beauties of podcasting is how you can repurpose your content. JJ Flizanes has successfully done this. She is an empowerment strategist, a director of The Invisible Fitness, and the host of several podcasts. From there, she took the things she shared in her shows and spun it into her bestselling book, Fit to Love. In this episode, she shares to us how she managed to find so many ways to monetize all of it and how podcasting became a tool for her to qualify ideas, establish followers, and make a bestseller. She also talks about the marketing strategies that have helped her build up her platform and voice in this crowded industry. At the end of the day, it is not about money. You do it for the fun and exploration, and hopefully, what will come out is revenue at some point. Learn more juicy insights from JJ in this conversation.
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Monetize In Repurposing Your Podcast With JJ Flizanes
My guest is JJ Flizanes and she is an empowerment strategist and the host of several podcasts, including People’s Choice Award Nominee Spirit, Purpose & Energy. She’s the Director of the Invisible Fitness and a best-selling author of Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life and The Invisible Fitness Formula: 5 Secrets to Release Weight & End Body Shame. Named the Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles in 2007 by Elite Traveler Magazine, JJ has been featured in many national magazines including Shape, Fitness, Women’s Health and has appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox, the CW, and KTLA. She’s going to share a free gift with this at the end, one of her books. Welcome, JJ.
Thanks, Juliet, for having me.
Tell us a little bit about your foray into podcasting because it seems once you got into it, it was almost an incurable syndrome of some sort.
I don’t know a better way to get out a message, to test an audience at a market and to sell products, services, events, and ideas better than podcasting. There is no barrier to entry except putting a show together. There are all those details, but the medium in itself. It’s funny because I came from acupuncture and I’ve met and manifested the perfect new person for me and she loves me and I love her. She’s asking me questions and she doesn’t even know me that well yet. She’s like, “You’re so right. I need to hire you as my coach.” I told her, “Do you listen to the podcast?” She’s like, “No, but I’d love to.” I take her phone, show her the Purple Podcast app and show her my shows. She’s like, “I want to listen to that one.” I put her on the list and download some shows for her. Having an idea and having a place to put it, especially for those who have so much passion, that writing is painful.
I don’t mean writing for writing pleasure, journaling or if you’re into your project or you’re writing a story and it creates momentum and flow for you. I’m talking about if you have ideas that are coming so quickly to you and you need an outlet for them. Podcasting was my answer to all of that because I had too many ideas and too many areas of things I wanted to teach, talk about and share. Blogging, it would have put a needle in my eye. It was so painful because I cannot keep up with my brain speed typing and then to go back and edit. I’m a presenter, a talker and a messenger. I needed this platform and it’s so much easier to prequalify clients and everyone and anyone. Now, I only fill my events with people who listen to the show. I’m about ready to retire from personal training altogether or from anyone who doesn’t listen to my show.
The prequalification is if you’re still working with me and you’re not listening to my show, I’m sorry we can’t work together anymore, not in a mean way. Anyone that’s coming in who wants weight loss or fitness or anything has to be a listener to the show because otherwise, I don’t want to work. That’s my zone of genius. If we’re not there, then you can hire someone less expensive to focus on the one thing you think you need, even though I know you probably need a little bit more than that. Doug and I had a conversation about a podcast idea and we went and looked it up and it doesn’t exist. We’re like, “Should we do it?” When we have such success with our shows, why not? He says, “If you open up your microphone every time and you make $5,000, don’t you want to keep opening up your microphone?”
Yes, you do. She is mentioning her partner Doug Sandler who is also is a voracious podcaster in his own right. You guys have made quite a gig of all of this. One thing that impresses me about you is you’ve found so many ways to monetize all of this. Not just with your fitness, but in other ways too. You guys are teaching classes now and doing some other things.
It didn’t happen right away because part of my goal in podcasting was to test my message and to see where the universe if you will, wanted me to show up in the world. I started out as a trainer. I am an excellent zone of excellence for sure in the scientific realm. I don’t know too many other people that have. They may be good in one area of science, but I have all of the physical sciences from functional medicine down to biomechanics and physics and exercise physiology. I love that but I knew that that was limiting for me. My podcast Fit 2 Love, the first show I ever did was a six-day a week show. It was video and audio and I had a two-camera full shoot for the videos and they were exercise videos and cooking videos. My Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows were audio shows on different topics. Wellness, psychology and mindset, spirituality, the Law of Attraction, astrology, and relationships.
Those were all my different things to test. When I put out Fit 2 Love, I didn’t realize that that wasn’t going to be the best way to test it because when someone subscribes to a podcast, they’re downloading all the shows, so no one’s coming in cherry-picking which shows they want the best. I thought I’d be able to clearly see which one of those days was the most downloaded. The benefit was I was never a podcaster before I became a podcaster. I learned all of the things not to do and I knew that my show was good. I was always excited about editing it and putting it out, sharing it, talking about it and getting good feedback, but at some point, it felt the show’s quality information and my passion around it was more than the response.
At this point and how you met me on Scott’s Mass Media Summit, he wanted me to talk about pivoting. When is it the right time to pivot? I was getting some clients and I was selling a few books here and there and selling a few online programs here or there, but it wasn’t at the rate that I thought it should be based on the show, the quality, how many shows I had put out. It wasn’t quite two years. It was two seasons and 350 episodes. I said, “It’s time to pivot.” I had an intuitive hit and I do all of my business coachings and living out of my intuition now. Because the intuitive hit said, “They can’t find you, JJ.” You’re not just talking about wellness. I’m talking about the science of digestion. I’m talking about the endocrine system and the hormones.
We’re talking about astrology and detailed Law of Attraction. I’m an expert in the Law of Attraction. I’m talking about biomechanics over here and your muscles and how they contract and how they innovate and the neuroscience and the neuro-plasticity both in behavioral science and in physical science. I’m like, “My information is so specific in each of these areas and I’m trying to put it under one brand that’s muddying the waters. I said, “Now, I need to rebrand because I have better metrics on where I’m supposed to show up.” That’s what I did. I took my six days a week and made six different shows. I didn’t start out saying I want to be a podcaster addict and that I want to keep putting out shows every week.
That wasn’t the goal and I never would have done it this way. I never would have said, “I want to try six different shows.” What crazy person starts six shows at one time? I said, “What a great repurposing opportunity to take the shows and repurpose them into their very specific brand and then see who shows up.” That was how the magic happened. In the podcasting world, a lot of people would’ve said, “JJ, you’re not even a couple of years in yet. You have some good momentum, you have a lot of great reviews. Keep going. Keep following this path until it’s successful.” Something said to me, “No, they can’t find you.” My intuition was spot on and that’s what happened. I get made fun of a lot. Not anymore, though.
I will tell you that at the first New Media Summit back in 2017, people thought I was a little bit nuts because I had all these shows. They’re like, “Why is she doing so many shows? Why don’t you do one show?” Now all my friends have multiple shows. I’m like, “See?” It’s easy to do. It gets brand specific. You can target market so well on a podcast and you can repurpose. You don’t have to have completely different brand new content on each channel. You can take the same content and repurpose it in a different brand to see which one is attracting more of a crowd, which one gets shared more, which one resonates with people more.
The point of that was that she pivoted because so many people give it up. That’s why there’s so much podfading going out there. It is great that you repurposed it. Also, one of the things people don’t think about with a podcast is you mentioned that you’re a talker. This is your medium. This is a great way to put a book together.
My last book was written in a week because I took shows, transcribed them and then I went away for a week to the beach house and all I did was take those transcriptions, put them in the right order and then write the stuff to link them in between. I had to write a few new chapters, but it was done very quickly.
That’s for you guys who aren’t big writers out there, but you want to be authors. That’s a great way to do this. You actually took shows. Did you make an outline first and go for it? How did you put that together when you organized it?
My company is called Invisible Fitness and I knew that I was moving away from talking about fitness. You can shoot me in the head for how many times I talked to someone about weight loss and they have no interest or they’re not ready for it or they don’t value thinking about the psychology behind that. It’s like, “If you’re an overeater and you’re someone who wants to lose weight and you don’t take care of yourself or you self-sabotage, this is not about knowing what to eat or how to work out. This is about the motivation underneath it. This is about what you’re trying to avoid. This is about not being comfortable in your own skin and with your feelings. This is about judging yourself and shaming yourself into self-hatred, which of course makes you overeat and not want to work out or take care of yourself.”
I’m not interested in working with anyone anymore, period, on just exercise and fitness. I haven’t been for a long time, but even still to date, I’m about ready to retire from a lot of my clients and I’ve warned them ahead of time. It’s not a threat, but I’m not a babysitter. I keep your joints healthy. You’re not injured, you’re efficient, but you’re not willing to let me help you in the other areas and the reason why we’re doing this in the first place. At this point, it’s not right anymore and it’s time for me to step into my zone of genius and claim that. With all of that, I already have so many books transcribed, ready to go and they’re not ready yet. I think I know what the next one is going to be, but I already have most of the shows transcribed. When I went back and looked at what’s going to be in this book, I thought, “I’ve been a trainer for twenty years. What do people need to know? What are the steps to make someone successful long-term?”There's no better way to repurpose podcasting content, than getting it transcribed. Click To Tweet
That was easy. It was five steps and I’ve done multiple shows on each one of those five steps. I went back through all my information. I picked out those shows, I had them transcribed. I put them in the book. I wrote the intro and I linked some things. The fifth secret was a little bit more of I guess new stuff because I hadn’t done a lot of shows on that. It was super easy to write. I feel it’s the legacy that I’m going to leave on the fitness side. If anybody wants to work with me, they can read the book, watch the webinar or get a free copy of the book. If you’re on board, cool. If you’re not and you want weight loss and fitness and I know we’re not a match or if you read the book. I use podcasting to prequalify and to do things like write books.
We’re going to have Doug on about the content development you have to have for that book. You can’t write the book and then go out and publish it and expect to be known. That led up to it as well. You already had followers. You already had something established. You knew that those people wanted and need what you had to offer and that made your book a bestseller, didn’t it?
Yes. That last book came out right as I was building momentum with the rebrand. The book came out in May of 2017 and I had rebranded the first three shows in October of 2016. I hadn’t quite hit the mark yet of the number of followers and the very dedicated people I know now. In fact, someone came on a strategy call and she takes the cake. She said she’s been listening to me for almost five years. I started podcasting in 2014. I’m like, “I think you win in terms of you started with Fit 2 Love.” She’s joined the other shows. Some of the contents are the same, but I highly recommend podcasting because you can do it. You could do solo shows, you can do interviews.
It gives you such a platform to sell anything once you get your audience dialed in, once you get your niche dialed in. There’s no better way to repurpose content and then getting it transcribed and you can do that super cheap. I want to get back to the monetizing part. Doug and I met in 2017. At that point, I had launched those shows and he had still one show. Now, he has six and I have ten. They’re not all life and they’re not all getting content every week. Five of them are. When we got together and that story is a whole other show. It’s episode 54 and episode 55 on Women, Men & Relationships. It’s all about sacred contracts, divine timing, manifestation and the Law of Attraction in relationships.
When we got to gather, we started looking at how we both made money and I think Doug and I, between the two of us, literally make money in every single way you can make money for the podcast, but we specialize. He has one area that he specializes in that if I ever even do it, I don’t even know if I would’ve done it. I’ve tried to do it, but I haven’t been successfully doing it. I specialize in a whole set of other areas that he is not good at all. Together we see and we know.
Our friends, Joe and Matt, have surveyed 1,000 podcasters and 85% of them make $0. Doug has a podcast production company and we see so many people not making money and not doing things in a way that they’re wasting time or energy or not being efficient. We started teaching classes. We had our first live class. We have a webinar and we’ll have our last webinar for a while, which I believe is in March. It’s basically on the business of podcasting. It’s a very specific need that people have because a lot of people go and think, “This whole podcasting thing. I’m going to talk into a microphone. I’m going to slap it up on the web and then I’m going to be famous in a month and make some money.”
It doesn’t quite work like that. I think that’s where people get their real education is they don’t understand digital marketing. They don’t understand the internet and how crowded it is. You have to work at this, especially if you want to monetize it.
Yes, and if you’re marketing to non-listeners of podcasts, that’s one thing. If your niche is so much and I’m going to get ready to do that. I haven’t done that, in fact. I believe that if your message is strong enough and your messaging is strong enough and it’s in alignment with your zone of genius, that you will attract the people, you will attract the crowd. You build products and services for your customers and your fans, not the other way around. Fit 2 Love was another example. I started podcasting to sell what I was already selling but people didn’t want that for me. If you’re not hearing that and taking that cue, there are two things wrong.
Either it’s the wrong branding and wrong targeting, that you’re not using languaging and you’re not giving them, getting their needs met in some way. Wrong brand, wrong targeting if you are supposed to be doing what you’re doing or it’s the wrong message. It’s not what you’re supposed to be doing. You need to let that organic relationship happen with your audience. People who are going to like you, like your energy, resonate with who you are and what you’re passionate about. It’s like in any business, I would tell somebody, “It has to come easy for you. Your zone of genius is easy and you do it naturally.” Most of the time, we discount that. If it’s not in that, if it doesn’t bring you joy to do it, if you are so concerned about every dollar you make with it right away, it’s probably not the right message.
I was willing to do this for years without getting paid because I wanted to archive my content. I have so much very specific educational content in each of these different areas that for me it’s efficiency. Heads up if you’re a coach, I don’t want to repeat myself twenty times with twenty new clients. I’m going to record a show, whether it be on the exercise, cooking, nutrition, wellness, psychology or whatever and I’m going to tell you, “Listen to these five shows so that when we get back together we can be more efficient with our time.” I wanted to archive on video and on audio all these different lessons, teachings and ideas that I had.
I used them a little bit differently. Not the content archive to give to my clients because we teach them. I have a lot of reaches out on LinkedIn and if I have a conversation with someone and they’re not ready to buy, but they tell me they’re struggling in an area, I will drop a podcast into their messenger like, “I hope this is helpful.” A lot of times, they will come back around when they’re ready and purchase because I’ve served them in that way. That’s interesting. I used it before, you use it during. I never thought about that. That’s fantastic.
Thank you for that. I’ll use it before too. I have a whole system that I’m getting ready to put into practice and into action. I’m planning for it because while promoting my podcast is number two on my list area, it’s not number one and I need to honor what that number one is. The next webinar, I get on the Business of Podcasting and Making Money is on Monday, March 16th at 5:00 PM Pacific time. That is both Doug and I. We do a great job of covering every single potential way. You name it, we’ve done it or we’re doing it from donation to I have a membership to people get paid content. I have a podcast people pay for. There’s no free content. They pay for it. It’s a membership. From sponsorship to turn the list into clients, to selling products and programs to events. We do all of it.
For you guys out there, that’s something you definitely would want to go to. Here’s the other thing. I went to an event out in Salt Lake and about 40 people and probably 30 of them in the room hadn’t started one yet. I could hear them overanalyzing. Just open up your microphone and do it. Those thinkers bother me because you can think about it forever, but if you don’t do it and you can always plan that monetization when you figure out if that’s what you want to do. Would you agree with that?
I would. I didn’t start it to make money. I started a therapeutic tool for myself because I needed an outlet. I had too much content, too much excitement and my clients don’t want to hear about it again. Hence, why I have to get rid of all of them because half those people are still with me. I’ve grown so much in five years and some of them have and some of them haven’t. The ones that have it, I’m like, “I love you, but I’m not a babysitter. Please pay somebody else less money to babysit you because this is killing me.”
They’re not getting the most out of it either because I want to push them forward into growing at a rate that they’re not ready for. It’s not doing anybody any good, but I had a desire. It was literally like I needed a platform. I needed to test it out. One of my good friends has a very popular podcast and none of her friends or family wanted to listen to her either. She started her show to again interview people to talk about the things you want to talk about. Now she has a hugely successful show. I think that the motivation has to come from being passionate and dedicated to either the subject matter or to explore it.
Podcasting is such a great way to explore and get feedback and figure out. If you don’t take it personally, if you don’t think, “I’m a failure, I didn’t do very well,” if you can let go of that and use it in any business sense like I believe everybody should. Everything is a test. Going into anything, I don’t care how much you overanalyze it, you don’t know anything about how exactly it’s going to work unless you’ve tested it over and over again in the same way. Anytime you start something new, a new product and you write a book, you use to try to start a new business, you have a new offering. You open up to testing what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. I think podcasting is probably the easiest, fastest, growing every day by leaps and bounds. You are missing an opportunity if you have a business and you don’t have a podcast.
Not only that, I’m surprised as I’m reaching out to other podcasters, the depth of the topics, Irish history, chocolate. I’m stunned and amazed. I originally went out looking for interviews, but I met some of the most incredible people. I can understand the chocolate curiosity but as a personal trainer, you’re probably like, “Don’t do it.” Why Irish history? Why how to make bourbon? It’s fascinating, the people, the things that people are passionate about what they turned in to podcasts. It’s incredible.
One of my podcasts is called Something to Wine About.
Do you like wine?
I love wine.
I grew up in wine country.
I’m now in the industry because of this podcast. The industry gets free tastings and 30% discounts on wine and industry get to interview the winemakers and all of the other people that are there. We were just up North not too long ago, the two of us. There are three that hosts, although Doug will be added as a fourth before six months is up. I’m going to Italy for my birthday. What do you think I’m going to do in Italy? I’m going to be interviewing winemakers and writing off my trip. That’s part of it.
Where up North? I’m from Paso Robles.
That’s exactly where we were.
If you want an introduction to a winemaker there, my cousin owns a winery.
Which one there?
It’s Tolo. His name is Josh Gibson.
Paso Robles is my favorite area in the world for wine. I’ve been going there since forever. That’s where we were. We’re going back in April for three days to do another spout of interviews with different wineries. The podcast was a passion project, but it’s about to make some money. Sometimes your reasoning to even do a podcast could be a tax write off. That’s what this Something to Wine About is because that’s what we can do with it. We were not in it for the money. We’re in it for the fun and for the exploration. What will come out of that is revenue at some point when we actually want to focus on it. Right now, it’s fun to record.
It’s so different when I go back there because when I grew up, it was all alfalfa. It’s huge now. Where do we find you if we want to reach out in and learn about your workshop and learn about everything you and Doug are doing?
Where you’ll find me is JJFlizanes.com. However, I will tell you that those classes about the podcasting are not on my website because they’re not on an offering that happens all the time and they’re a limited 1 or 2-time events. If we decide later to do it more, we will. As of right now, March 16th is the last one for a while. You can go to JJFlizanes.com and fill out the contact form. The actual signup and registration for this webinar are at TurnkeyPodcast.com/masterclass. We’re going to go over messaging. We’re going to go over having a business plan specific to your show.
I launched another show called Health & Wealth. Each one of these podcasts has a different business plan. Again, you can’t go in and go, “I have a podcast,” and then like, what do you expect? You have to have some idea or plan for the possibility of it and then pivot when you get feedback from your audience. We’re going to talk about business plans and then of course monetization at every stage. Before I launched Health & Wealth, I had already made money on it. In fact, that’s why I did the launch because I wanted to make good on the sponsorships that I had before I ever even launched the show. I’ve been sitting on these sponsorships for over a year and not doing anything with the show. Finally, I said, “I need to make good on this.” Plus, it also became the right time, divine timing-wise and the show had changed. It had morphed. It was an idea. I’m like, “I’m going to do this show.”
My business plan changed for the show. When I finally solidified, this is what it’s supposed to be, then I was ready. I did a big old Facebook live stream all day long and had people coming and going. I put off half of the videos on YouTube. I had no expectation, but I had no numbers to hit. I had nothing that I expected and I’ve already closed two people in my mastermind. I have hundreds of more people on my list. We gave free gifts away. I’ve got consultations lined up. It was great and it was fun. Business plans, monetization and messaging are the three things that you need to be dialed in on to be successful with your podcast.
That is great information because I don’t think many people do that. Who would be the ideal person to come to this?
Somebody who either is already podcasting and not making them any money or not making consistent money and is not clear about the direction of their show. Someone who is ready, knows 100% they are invested into this podcasting thing and they’re going to do it because then at least you can start out stronger. Not somebody who’s thinking about it. Don’t come if you’re thinking about it. You have to be committed to doing the podcasting or more ideally, you’re already podcasting. You’re frustrated because you’re not making enough money or you’re not hearing from your audience. If you have a show and you have crickets, please come to our event because we need to talk.If your message is strong enough and is in alignment with your zone of genius, you will attract the people, you will attract the crowd. Click To Tweet
Thank you so much. I love your energy. Do you ever sleep?
Yes. When I’m on, I’m on and when I’m off, I’m off. I had acupuncture and I love my new acupuncturist and this is the first time I’m talking to another person besides her and Doug. I love what I do and I’m passionate about helping people and I’m tired of people struggling in all areas of life, from relationships to health and wealth to podcasting. I’m a gatherer, a seeker. I have so many tools and I love to share them when people are ready.
Thank you so much for being on the show and I appreciate you coming.
- Spirit, Purpose & Energy
- Invisible Fitness
- Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life
- The Invisible Fitness Formula: Five Secrets to Release Weight & End Body Shame
- Mass Media Summit
- New Media Summit
- Episode 54 – Women, Men & Relationships Podcast
- Episode 55 – Women, Men & Relationships Podcast
- Something to Wine About
- Health & Wealth
About JJ Flizanes
JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist and the host of several podcasts including People’s Choice Awards nominee Spirit, Purpose & Energy. She is the Director of Invisible Fitness, a best-selling author of Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life and The Invisible Fitness Formula: 5 Secrets to Release Weight and End Body Shame.
Named Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles for 2007 by Elite Traveler Magazine, JJ has been featured in many national magazines, including Shape, Fitness, and Women’s Health as well as appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox, the CW, and KTLA.
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