Cliff Duvernois Entrepreneurs on Podcasting

Podcasting to me is the ultimate relationship building tool. If I can help listeners to create strategic connections, to be able to grow their business, serve them, provide them with value, then that is the metric of success. – Cliff Duvernois

In this episode, Cliff covers the podcast metrics you shouldn’t waste your time on, the factors to consider in selecting your criteria for podcast success, and his personal measure of podcast success.

Topics we covered:

  • The metrics you shouldn’t waste your time on
  • Factors to consider in selecting your criteria for podcast success
  • My personal measure of podcast success

This episode is brought to you by “Podcast Accelerator Challenge“. I’ve been using podcasting as a powerful business growing tool for years. Nothing is more powerful than podcasting for help businesses grow. If you’re tired of playing roulette with your ad dollars and frustrated with algorithms constantly changing on social media platforms, the only thing that has changed about podcasting is the popularity of the platform.

If you’re a business owner and you want to grow your business but you’re not sure where to start, then join the FREE 5-Day Podcast Accelerator Challenge“. Within 5 days, you’ll go from no podcast to having a full realized podcast with built in strategies to help use this tool for your business.

Select Links from the Episode:

Show Notes:

  • Why my podcast is a failure according to Buzzsprout (0:30)
  • Why this matters more than your number of downloads (2:15)
  • The correct way of determining your criteria for podcast success (04:44)
  • Ratings and reviews are overrated (06:30)
  • Why people-pleasing should not be a measure of success (08:51)
  • The S- word all entrepreneurs like to here (09:32)
  • Why strategic connections should matter more (11:02)
  • The only “metric” you should be tracking in my book (13:03)


Cliff Duvernois: Hello everyone. And welcome back. This is going to be episode 15. I am your host and guide Cliff DuVernois. and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover in this particular episode. So I’m going to start off by saying it appears that my podcast is a failure. No, I don’t buy that for one second either. So let’s get a little bit of a background here as to why toss that statement out and more importantly, why I’m going to toss that statement out. 

Cliff Duvernois: First off, it was a handful of weeks ago. Buzzsprout sent out an email to their email list and inside of this email was a video that was called measuring. The success of your podcast are three ways to measure the success of your podcast. Now, normally when these things appear in my inbox and I look at them, I. I already know what they’re going to say.

Cliff Duvernois: And I completely disagree with them. However, comma in the interest of Fairplay, I said, do you know what? Maybe the people at Buzzsprout have gotten it, maybe they now understand what it takes to really figure out if a podcast is a success or not. I mean, at the end of the day, if we’re going to do something, we want to make sure that we’re having an impact.

Cliff Duvernois: So, yes, I click on this link. I watched the video and here are the three metrics that Buzzsprout says we’ll help you to measure the success of your podcast. Here is metric number one.

Buzzsprout: The most obvious and used metric of success for any podcast usually starts with the number of downloads your episodes get. If you’re hosting your podcast on a platform like Buzzsprout, a download counts for your podcasts. Anytime your audio file is requested from Buzzsprout from a podcast player like apple podcasts, Spotify, and more. 

Cliff Duvernois: So the number of downloads determines my success. Sweet Moses. Uh, if you’re in the audience, could you send, Buzzsprout a copy of episode five of this particular podcast? The downloads, oh man, I can’t get over this. I mean, just to be at the end of the day, but you know, This really reminds me of a great conversation that I had an interview with Tara McMullin.

Cliff Duvernois: Now she’s the host of the crazy popular “What Works” podcast. And here is what she had to say about podcasting and downloads.

Tara McMullin, What Works Podcast: Who cares, how many downloads you have if your whole goal is meeting other people in your industry, which by the way, has a phenomenal goal for podcasting your downloads while that’s nice icing on the cake. That is not the reason that is not the metric by which you evaluate, whether you are getting.

Tara McMullin, What Works Podcast: Uh, reaching your goal or not whether it’s doing what you want it to do. And I know that probably sounds so elementary, but I truly watch this happen over and over and over again where people get down on themselves because X, Y, or Z isn’t working, but they haven’t defined what working looks like. Right.

Tara McMullin, What Works Podcast: And so if they don’t know what working looks like, they can’t evaluate it. And so I think the very first thing that any podcast, or whether aspiring podcast or a struggling podcast, or, or even just a podcast or who kind of wants to take a second, look at how they’re doing, where their show can go next is say, all right, what am I doing here?

Tara McMullin, What Works Podcast: What is the purpose of this thing? Is it to build relationships? Is it to bring in new leads? Is it to drive sales? Is it to just give me a creative outlet? Because that’s also a really good reason to have a podcast. All of those things are good reasons to be podcasting, but the metrics by which you measure whether it’s working or not are different for each one of those things. 

Tara McMullin, What Works Podcast: That really is where I would ask anyone to start is, have you defined what your goal here is? Do you know what working looks like before you start judging yourself and your show and your effort and saying, oh, this isn’t working.

Cliff Duvernois: Now she maps it out very clearly. The first step for anybody getting into podcasting is that they need to understand the why behind their particular podcast. What is the goal of their particular podcast? Because determining the, why will help you to determine the criteria that you need. To measure the success of your podcast.

Cliff Duvernois: It is that easy for the podcast person out there. The entrepreneur who believes that relationships are critical to helping them grow their business. Then the podcasting building a relationship tool that is the metric that you would use to measure the success by. Am I making those strategic connections necessary to grow my business?

Cliff Duvernois: Now, if you’re thinking, if you’re hearing this and you’re sitting there saying what’s Cliff talking about strategic connections, I highly recommend that you go back and listen to episode 10, where I mapped out the entire strategy for you. But downloads does not determine the success of your podcast. We are entrepreneurs.

Cliff Duvernois: We are entrepreneurs with a podcast. That’s our mindset going into this, those silly rules don’t apply to us, but. Let’s go ahead and talk about metric number two from Buzzsprout.

Buzzsprout: Metric number two is ratings and reviews. Ratings and reviews are another helpful metric to use when thinking about your podcast success. Rating and reviews serve as written testimonies from listeners about what they think of your show. You can receive valuable feedback and insight from your listeners, which can encourage you to keep up the great work or lead you in the right direction to make necessary improvements. 

Buzzsprout: So if you’re receiving a lot of five star ratings and positive reviews from listeners, it probably means you’re doing something right. 

Cliff Duvernois: So I have to pin the success of my podcast on what other people think about my podcast. I E the reviews that they are, right. Oh, my goodness. Talk about seeking external validation. This is just crazy. And the reason why is because when people are listening to podcasts, they’re not going to be sitting down at the desk and writing out emails or filling out reviews. Really at the end of the day, if you think about when people are listening to podcasts or driving on the road in their car, or they’re out for a walk or they’re exercising, or they’re riding their bike, or they’re doing gardening.

Cliff Duvernois: They don’t really have the best way at that point in time to leave a review on somebody’s podcast. And most of the time that people leave a review, they say something really short and simple. Like, “Hey, this is a great podcast, highly recommend.” Now what can you really do with that feedback? Not a whole lot.

Cliff Duvernois: Now, of course it would be nice if you are getting tons of feedback on there from people and all these other things. And we’ll talk about that here in just a second. That would always be great to know and understand that our message is actually out there resonating with people, but the fact that we have to wait until somebody fills out a report, what if you’re 20, 30, 40, 50 episodes in and nobody’s left a review.

Cliff Duvernois: Do you stop your podcast? I mean, if you’re getting downloads according to them for the first metric and you just stop in the middle, isn’t it kind of hurting you more than it’s helping you? I don’t know. Apparently I’m that smart and such things, but let’s go ahead and let’s listen to metric number three from broad spout.

Buzzsprout: Metric number three is interactions and feedback. Direct interactions and feedback from listeners can let you know how well your podcast is resonating with the people who listen to your show, interactions and feedback can come in the form of verbal communication emails, direct messages, or left as responses to posts related to your podcast.

Cliff Duvernois: So I’m thinking that this is pretty much the same as metric number two, or did I miss something there? I don’t really know. Just like I talked about waiting for somebody to come along and sit there and tell you that your podcast is good, or how many people tell you podcasts is good. I don’t think that’s a fair representation of whether your podcast is actually good or not.

Cliff Duvernois: You’re not going to make everybody on the planet. Happy. If you don’t believe me, just spend some time over on YouTube, trolling through some of those videos and you will see on there that there’ll be a video that serving the world, doing really good, really inspiring people. And there will be people in the comments down below that do just nothing, but tear it apart.

Cliff Duvernois: This is it. So I don’t know how much stock I would really put it in. But, you know, what’s really interesting is that I had an interview with Dave Barnett and we were talking about, uh, his barometer for success for his particular podcast. And he is the host of the small business deal-making podcast. And this is what he had to say.

David Barnett, Small Business and Deal Making Podcast: But once I got to 3000 subscribers, I was meeting a new client every week. It was more than enough. It’s not how many people are out there. It’s who they are. And you know, there are people who found my videos and hired me. Who’ve never clicked subscribe. And so you have to tune out all that stuff.

David Barnett, Small Business and Deal Making Podcast: It’s just not important at all. Here I am. After eight years, this past weekend my subscriber base crossed the 20,000 mark, which has absolutely nothing in the world of YouTube videos. And I am busier than I’ve ever been before. And in the middle of hiring another person to my team it’s not about the subscribers.

David Barnett, Small Business and Deal Making Podcast: It’s about how many clients you get. The only metric that matters is the sales, the revenue. And um, being worried about how many people are following you or listening, you that’s got nothing to do with the performance of what is essentially for me is like a 400 episode long running commercial.

David Barnett, Small Business and Deal Making Podcast: It’s all just marketing for me and waiting there for somebody to have a need that I can satisfy.

Cliff Duvernois: I’d like to go back and talk about something that Dave said. Now he has been doing this for eight years. He just now crossed 20,000 subscribers, eight years. I know most people that would just simply give up if they’re not getting 20,000 downloads within the first two or three months, but it took him eight years to get to the 20,000 subscriber point.

Cliff Duvernois: But listen to what he said though. He said he is busier than ever. The reason why is because his message, his podcast has connected him with an audience that the message resonates with. It’s not the number of people that you have. It’s not the number of subscribers. It’s not the number of downloads. It’s about the connection that we are able to build with people that are out there.

Cliff Duvernois: Whether we want to build a strategic connection with somebody or about the connections that we actually make with our audience. And according to him, it’s about the sales and he’s doing really well for himself as businesses going gangbusters. He is not slowing down at all, but once you find that group, once you find that core audience of people who resonate with your message, that’s when magical things start to happen.

Cliff Duvernois: Now in the interest of fair play at the end of the Buzzsprout video, probably the last 30 seconds that did have this to say.

Buzzsprout: At the end of the day there are multiple ways to define success in podcasting and the metrics we shared in today’s video are just a handful of tools at your disposal. Each of us define success differently. There is no right or wrong answer. And it’s all about your unique sense of purpose or goals for being a podcaster. 

Cliff Duvernois: Finally something in this video that I agree with. Unfortunately, they stuffed it at the very end of the video. Now, out of the thousands of people who are going to watch this video, how many of them do you think made it all the way to the end? I mean, YouTube published the stats all the time, showing that 80% of people have dropped off your video after the first two or three minutes.

Cliff Duvernois: So when the first two or three minutes, they stuffed all this stuff, all this talk about downloads into the first couple of minutes, right. The very metrics that discourages people from continuing to podcast. And then they put at the very end and they’re like, oh yeah, by the way, everybody measures success differently.

Cliff Duvernois: Okay. Now, what is the metric that Cliff uses for his particular podcasts? What am I looking for in my podcast? And I’ve already talked about this before, but podcasting to me is the ultimate relationship building tool, right? Cliff’s law of podcasting. Number one, you should write that down. Ultimate relationship building tool.

Cliff Duvernois: Now, if somebody listens to this podcast, if they are a member of the audience and somehow or another, the light bulb turns on in their head and they say, you know, this clip guy is right. I like the way he thinks, and they start to reframe their entire approach to podcasting and what it means to be a successful podcaster and how that works.

Cliff Duvernois: If I can help them to create strategic connection. To be able to grow their business. If I can serve them, provide them with value, then that is the metric of success. Now, can I put that on a chart somewhere? No. Nope. I’ll never be able to put that on a PowerPoint presentation. If I’m making new connection.

Cliff Duvernois: If somebody out there that I did not know before that enters my echo sphere because of my podcast, they liked my messaging. We have a great conversation and that personnel works with me and I work with them. That’s a success that you simply cannot quantify because one of the things that podcasting can do is it can really open doors for you in ways that.

Cliff Duvernois: Even imagine, and it can generate other streams of revenue for your business, just outside of the podcast model. Right. Sponsorships. And that’s not what we’re looking for. Anyways, ladies and gentlemen, that’s all the time that I have for today. Hope you enjoyed this episode and I’ll catch you in the next one.

Cliff Duvernois: Cheers.