April 26, 2023

The EAR$ Framework and Monetization Strategies with Jeremy Enns, Podcast Marketing Expert

The EAR$ Framework and Monetization Strategies with Jeremy Enns, Podcast Marketing Expert
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E28: Jeremy is the Founder of Podcast Marketing Academy, which is a podcast growth and marketing company helping scrappy podcast centric brands, networks and creators punch above their weight.

Today, I speak to him about the four key aspects of his excellent EAR$ framework: Exposure, Attraction, Retention, and Monetization. We also dig into how Jeremy implements them for his own content, and how you can implement them for your content.


The Power of Newsletters: "I think that's a way easier ask just because of how we treat newsletters like we don't expect an immediate thing. It's almost like I'm going to subscribe now, and I know that I'm going to get the next newsletter."

— Jeremy Enns (9:44)

Optimizing Lead Magnets for Higher Conversion Rates: "I realized, like, I have kind of like a messaging problem and maybe a design problem where it doesn't feel legitimate or hooky or compelling enough. And that needed to change if I wanted to get more people onto the list."

— Jeremy Enns (13:09)


How Jeremy Got Into Podcasting (3:10)

Introduction to the EAR$ Framework (6:11)

How to Get Your Content Exposure (7:04)

Using Newsletter For 'Exposure' to Podcast (8:31)

How to Attract Your Ideal Audience (11:41)

How to Retain Your Audience (15:22)

How to Analyze Retention For a Podcast (18:06)

Why a Big Audience Doesn't Translate to Sales & Monetization (23:34)

How To Apply the EAR$ Framework (26:59)


Podcast Marketing Academy
Follow Jeremy on Twitter

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Yong-Soo Chung: 00:00
When he was young, Jeremy Enns dreamed of being a rock star.

Jeremy Enns: 00:05
I got into, you know, guitar playing and always wanted to play. Got through guitar actually got into like heavy metal and hardcore and punk music. And so like played in bands and wrote songs and recorded some songs and all that kind of stuff. And, you know, my dream was always to be a rock star, and, you know, go on tours and like, probably in the genres I was in, he's never gonna sell out stadiums or anything like that. But to be able to make a living off of music was always my goal.

Yong-Soo Chung: 00:27
And even though his family was musically inclined, Jeremy realized quite early on that playing music wasn't the career for him.

 Jeremy Enns: 00:3
It kind of just absorbed that from society.

Yong-Soo Chung: 00:37
So instead, he decided to go to school and become an audio engineer instead.

Jeremy Enns: 00:42
And so I enrolled in well, it wasn't actually University was a kind of technical specialized school for audio production. There was like video game design a couple of artistic kind of pursuits there, went to school and learn to become an audio engineer and record producer and thought, you know, this would be my career.

Yong-Soo Chung: 00:58
That was the beginning of a long winding journey that eventually led to Jeremy Enns becoming the Founder and CEO of podcast Marketing Academy. But more importantly, I invited Jeremy Enns on the First Class Founders podcast today to talk to us about his excellent EAR$ framework to grow your audience. The EAR$ framework, in my opinion, is an effective marketing strategy that can be applied to any content you create, newsletter, podcasts, you name it.

Yong-Soo Chung: 01:32
Hi, my name is Yong-Soo Chung, and I'm a first generation Korean American entrepreneur living the American dream. I started Urban EDC to cater to enthusiast of everyday carry gear. I also own two other successful ventures GrowthJet, a Climate Neutral certified third party logistics company for fast growing ecommerce brands, and Spotted By Humphrey and online dog boutique curating dog goods for good dogs with Humphrey, our French Bulldog as our Chief Marketing Officer with over 150,000 followers across all of his social media platforms. Through these three ventures, my business makes an annual revenue near eight figures, and I'm here to tell you how you can do the same. On this episode of First Class Founders, I'll be sharing with you the things I learned while talking to Jeremy Enns. Jeremy is the Founder of Podcast Marketing Academy, which is a podcast growth and marketing company helping scrappy podcast centric brands, networks and creators punch above their weight, according to the description on their website. He also publishes two excellent newsletters, Creative Wayfinding and Scrappy Podcasting. Every week, I came across a thread that Jeremy posted on Twitter where he spoke about the EAR$ framework. What caught my attention in particular was that the S in EARS was actually replaced by a dollar sign because it stood for revenue or monetization. Or as someone pointed out to Jeremy, sales.

Jeremy Enns: 02:58
Now I was like, How did I miss that one? Like that's a pretty obvious one for the S, but I know a lot of creators don't like the idea of sales. So actually kind of like keeping that like, how are you thinking about monetization. That's what the S is for, the dollar sign.

Yong-Soo Chung: 03:10
Jeremy and I spoke about many things, but on this episode, I'll specifically focus on four key aspects of his excellent EAR$ framework: Exposure, Attraction, Retention, and Monetization, how Jeremy implements them for his own content, and how you can implement them for your content. And Premium subscribers of the First Class Founders podcast will additionally get to hear the raw, unedited version of my interview with Jeremy, in which he spoke passionately about the current state of podcasting, and also gave some insightful tips for growing and marketing a podcast. Let's get down to business. Jeremy began his career as a literal rock star that is he used to play the guitar, but then he...

Jeremy Enns: 03:56
Went to school and learn to become an audio engineer and record producer and thought, you know, this would be my career.

Yong-Soo Chung: 04:02
This he quickly realized was still fraught with uncertainties of income since it was all freelance, he pivoted to taking up odd jobs, save some money and began to live the digital nomad lifestyle.

Jeremy Enns: 04:14
This was back in 2014. So it was before the whole like remote work nomad thing had really taken hold.

Yong-Soo Chung: 04:19
It was during one of his digital nomads sojourns that he met a friend who introduced him to podcasts, Curious, he decided to investigate the medium and on whim, decided to look up if there's something around business and entrepreneurship.

Jeremy Enns: 04:34
And I think I searched like creative business or something like that. And immediately like Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn, and like, I think Amy Porterfield Show was going and John Lee Dumas and like all these classic like online marketing shows immediately popped up and I was like, oh, there's a whole world here that I had no idea existed.

Yong-Soo Chung: 04:52
Jeremy began listening to these podcasts and started implementing his learnings from these podcasts into building an online photography blog. Six months later, realization dawned on him.

Jeremy Enns: 05:04
I already had the skills as an audio engineer. And I already had this love of podcasts. And I realized like, oh, just providing that service, there's going to be a way faster transition into having an online business that I can use to work from anywhere.

Yong-Soo Chung: 05:15
And from there, it just took off. Jeremy started out as a freelance audio engineer, and soon had more work than he could handle. So, he hired people to work for him. And pretty soon he was running a full fledged agency of his own.

Jeremy Enns: 05:28
I didn't even know what an agency was at the time, the business model, and kind of like fumbled my way through that. And that was kind of how I got my start in podcasting through the production side. And then more recently, I've kind of turned to the marketing side of things.

Yong-Soo Chung: 05:42
Don't be fooled though by the casual manner, in which he says turn to the marketing side of things. Jeremy has been incredibly humble here. Over the past several years, Jeremy and his team at podcast Marketing Academy have helped business owners generate over 50 million podcast downloads, and millions of dollars in revenue. When it comes to podcast growth, and marketing, Jeremy is one of the first names in the list of experts, you should consult for that purpose. And one of his key learnings during this journey happens to be the wonderful EAR$ framework.

Jeremy Enns: 06:11
So the EAR$ is exposure, attraction, retention, and then sales, monetization, revenue, whatever, however, you're making money, but that's the framework as a whole.

Yong-Soo Chung: 06:19
Let me repeat that quickly. E is for exposure. A is for attraction. R is for retention, and S or dollar sign is for sales, revenue, monetization, whatever you want to call it.

Jeremy Enns: 06:31
The EAR$ framework plays out in the way a listener or a new, you know, audience member kind of works their way through your ecosystem of your content and your business.

Yong-Soo Chung: 06:31
As in, they get exposed to your content, it attracts them to decide to stick around that is you retain them. And finally, you monetize your offering and earn money. The sheer genius of this framework lies in the simplicity of this realization, if you ask me, so let's dive right in. Part one, E for exposure.

Jeremy Enns: 07:04
The E the exposure is like the first step, like there's no way to get people you know, to get a customer or to get people subscribe to your podcast, or your newsletter or your YouTube channel, if you can't actually get in front of them first.

Yong-Soo Chung: 07:14
What Jeremy is talking about here is discoverability. That is people actually finding your content, whether it is your newsletter, or a podcast, or a YouTube channel or something else, you can't do anything. If your audience doesn't even know you exist.

Jeremy Enns: 07:28
A lot of people like think that they say like, Oh, I'm gonna grow my audience. So I'm gonna start a newsletter, or I'm gonna start a podcast. And they don't realize you need to market the you think the newsletter or the podcast is marketing. But actually you need to market, the newsletter or the podcast just as hard as anything else, your whole business.

Yong-Soo Chung: 07:43
Say, you have a great show. Say, you know for a fact that once you get an audience, you'll be able to convert them into customers, maybe you're even able to do it very frequently. But the first step still requires you to get in front of people. And that's where E for exposure of this EAR$ framework comes in.

Jeremy Enns: 08:01
If you are able to, you know, show up and create content regularly and network with all these people, like just good things are gonna happen. And if your social media profile is optimized, then you know, people will find their way back to your newsletter or your podcast, if that's something that you're including in your profile there.

Yong-Soo Chung: 08:18
I guess that's the key takeaway for the first part of the EAR$ framework.

Jeremy Enns: 08:22
Find one way to show up where your people are, are already directing their attention. And then, you know, provide value in that place.

Yong-Soo Chung: 08:31
This could be done in multiple ways. Of course, you could repurpose and distribute your content to different platforms. Or you can create custom content for each platform. Regardless of whichever approach you choose. Make sure that you funnel your audience and their attention to the primary source of content that you want them to consume. This brought up a very interesting question for me personally, because I've been experimenting with using my newsletter as a funnel to this podcast or in terms of the EAR$ framework, the First Class Founders podcast is the pillar content for which I've been using the newsletter as an exposure piece.

Jeremy Enns: 09:06
What you're doing now is usually like, that's what I recommend everybody do. And I don't want to like if you're already like just starting to do a podcast and now you're like, oh, no, I have to do a newsletter to like, I think you know, get the one solid before you start on the second one.

Yong-Soo Chung: 09:17
That is, get the podcast solid before you start on the newsletter, or vice versa. If your newsletter is your pillar content, for example. Newsletters, I found are much easier to grow compared to podcast. You don't have to ask someone to listen to an entire episode that hit the Follow button on your podcast player. Instead, you simply ask them for their email address, and now you can start building a relationship with them. And Jeremy agrees.

Jeremy Enns: 09:44
I think that's a way easier ask just because of how we treat newsletters, like we don't expect an immediate thing. It's almost like I'm going to subscribe now and I know that I'm going to get the next newsletter who knows when I almost don't care. And so I think when what you're asking people if your main call to action on social media is subscribe to a newsletter. That's There's way less friction there. And then once they're on your email list, then you can like keep promoting the podcasts on, you know, however often you want to do that as long as they stay subscribed.

Yong-Soo Chung: 10:08
Interesting. So there's a very distinct possibility that you came to this podcast after reading about it in my newsletter. If you don't know about the First Class Founders newsletter yet, then a) thank you for listening to this podcast, and b), you should definitely subscribe to the newsletter experience of First Class Founders. Let me quickly tell you what it's all about.

Yong-Soo Chung: 10:34
The First Class Founders newsletter is a companion to this podcast, I'm building first class founders and public. That means I share valuable lessons that I learned while experimenting with strategies on growing my podcast and newsletter. I don't hold anything back. In fact, I review all my podcast and newsletter metrics like downloads and subscriber numbers inside the newsletter. So if you're curious and want to see some behind the scenes content of this podcast, you'll love my newsletter. Go ahead and sign up at FirstClassFounders.com/newsletter. It's also in the show notes. I'll see you there.

Yong-Soo Chung: 11:13
Okay, back to what I was saying. To quickly summarize what Jeremy was saying, in terms of using email to build exposure for your podcast.

Jeremy Enns: 11:21
You can do so much with email in terms of growing a podcast. And that's why I kind of like say like, ultimately, we want to get people on both kind of like get them on the email list, which makes it almost easier to you know, promote the podcasts and also easier to sell in the long run. And if you get them on the podcast, it's easier to like nurture them to the point where they're likely to make a sale or a purchase at some point.

Yong-Soo Chung: 11:41
But now let's turn to part two of the EAR$ framework. Part two, a for attraction. Every single day, we come across all kinds of podcasts, newsletters, accounts that we often don't subscribe to, for whatever reason. even for something as simple as following someone on social media, the content may be really interesting, who might deem it not interesting enough to warrant following the person. What that is, is actually a signal that the content is not attractive enough to take the next action.

Jeremy Enns: 12:11
And so our kind of like level of attractiveness in any category is like how likely is our ideal audience member to you know, take that next step?

Yong-Soo Chung: 12:20
Here's the good news. According to Jeremy, there's a lot we can do to make that happen. That is get people to the next step. And a lot of it is actually quite easy to do stuff like...

Jeremy Enns: 12:32
Using your real estate you have available. So maybe that's your banner on Twitter or LinkedIn. And it's your bio that you write in there. And like how are you communicating who you are providing like value for and what that value is in as concise and compelling away as possible. And so like you once you start to look for this, you realize like some Twitter profiles, if you are that person's ideal audience member, they're just really attractive, it's almost like impossible not to follow them. Because what they're they're telling you that they talk about is so like the exact thing that you want help on.

Yong-Soo Chung: 13:01
An excellent example here will be Jeremy himself. A while ago, he was experimenting with different ways to attract more people to his emailing list.

Jeremy Enns: 13:09
I realized that all of my lead magnets and like ways, the way I was framing my newsletters, they weren't that appealing. Like the messaging wasn't great, the hooks weren't great. And so like that was clearly standing in the way even when I was getting exposure, it wasn't converting people into subscribers. And I realized, like I have kind of like a messaging problem and maybe a design problem where it doesn't feel legitimate or hooky or compelling enough. And that needed to change if I wanted to get more people onto the list.

Yong-Soo Chung: 13:36
And so he decided to redesign the on-ramps to his newsletter and make it more attractive to new subscribers. The first of these was a self-serve audit based on the EAR$ framework.

Jeremy Enns: 13:47
And so you answer 20 questions and it gives you a score on each of these EAR$ categories. Takes two minutes, you fill out these questions, and it gives you a breakdown of each category and says like, okay, these are the things you should work on. And this is the reason your marketing isn't working.

Yong-Soo Chung: 13:58
For the other on-ramp, he decided to tweak the messaging around his newsletter, Scrappy Podcasting, just a little bit.

Jeremy Enns: 14:04
Two minutes, and I get this like unconventional unorthodox podcast marketing idea each week to help you kind of like punch above your weight, even as a small creator.

Yong-Soo Chung: 14:11
The beauty of this is that it can work for any content offering, for example, podcasts. Jeremy often gives example of the podcast named My First Million.

Jeremy Enns: 14:21
Sam and Shaan kind of initially had the idea of like doing a kind of general business show where they talk to successful founders about you know what led to their success.

Yong-Soo Chung: 14:28
Sure, you might listen to this podcast because you know, Sam and Shaan are great hosts and they get good guests.

Jeremy Enns: 14:34
But there's nothing about that show that is unique, really at all. Like it's kind of like sounds like many other shows. Whereas then they change the description and the cool concept of the show to be like every single episode, we present a potential million dollar business idea based on the research that we've done in the market, and like the trends that we're seeing, and sometimes we have famous guests on and they do it with us. And all of a sudden like that description is like wow, that sounds like a really valuable show and like these people I've done all this research, and they have all this knowledge that I don't have. And they're just going to point out these potential million dollar business ideas. That's like a must listen show almost if you're looking to build a business versus like interviews with successful founders on what they did to become successful, which is a much like vaguer show and a bigger promise. And so that's kind of how I think about attraction related to like a podcast or any kind of property.

Yong-Soo Chung: 15:22
So that's A for attraction. Let's look at R for retention. Part three, R for retention.

Jeremy Enns: 15:31
Yeah, so the retention is really this is what most creators, I think, are doing a pretty good job of, I would say, like brands do a bad job of this creators do a great job with this. And essentially, it's like the quality of the content.

Yong-Soo Chung: 15:41
Retention, as the name implies, refers to the ability of your content to retain an audience.

Jeremy Enns: 15:47
If you're creating something valuable, that like keeps people coming back, like they listen once and they want to listen, again, you've got a great product, they're like in terms of your show or your newsletter, or whatever your content is. And so that's you're gonna have a high retention score.

Yong-Soo Chung: 15:59
Essentially, if attractiveness was all about getting people to take that first action, say, clicking play on an episode of your podcast, then retention is about getting people to click play on additional episodes of your podcasts. And if your content is really good, the superfans of your channel will frequently share the content of your channel on their own social media profiles.

Jeremy Enns: 16:22
Like these are all signs of like, you're doing really well in the retention category, because you're actually like moving and inspiring people to take this action that you know, beyond just like consuming it and being silent about it. And you don't really know, you know, whether they love it or not.

Yong-Soo Chung: 16:33
Retention is a relatively easy metric to understand, but an incredibly difficult metric to measure. When most people start out with their content, they usually only have a handful of people in their audience, then as their following grows, so do the interactions. But if you find that you have reached 100, or 500, or 1000 subscribers, without anyone interacting with you in response to your content.

Jeremy Enns: 16:56
I would say that's like you're in this interesting zone where like, Okay, you're getting people listening to this, but it's not, it's not like doing enough for them to actually be like, wow, like letting you know that this was really valuable to them.

Yong-Soo Chung: 17:06
In other words, you have a great foundation, but it is currently as good as background noise for your audience. They do find value in your content, but they aren't thrilled by it, it is not compelling enough for them to open their email inbox, hit compose, and start typing out an email to send you. They're simply consuming it like a commodity.

Jeremy Enns: 17:26
And I think a lot of content falls into that kind of commodity category. Whereas like, if you really want to kind of retain people keep them coming back. Like you need to kind of move yourself beyond that.

Yong-Soo Chung: 17:37
Yes, if you have the attraction part of the framework correctly set up, you will have a great premise, a great concept for your show or newsletter that will ensure people will keep coming back to your content.

Jeremy Enns: 17:47
But I think the other part of retention is like being a person that people are, you know, they want to root for, and they like really appreciate your unique perspective, you can't just be like substituted out with another host. And it would be the exact same show. And so I think there's there's a lot of stuff that goes into that. But that's the kind of gist of the retention category.

Yong-Soo Chung: 18:06
I asked Jeremy for help with understanding the retention situation for my own podcast, this podcast. Should I be looking at the point where people fall off during the episode? Should I be looking at the feedback I get at the end of episodes? Should I send out a survey and get people to tell me what they like and don't like about my show this show? What are some good signals that people were enjoying my show?

Jeremy Enns: 18:30
I think the biggest one is the unsolicited response rate.

Yong-Soo Chung: 18:34
The unsolicited response rate. As the name suggests, it's simply a number of unsolicited emails usually filled with praise that you might get from people reaching out to you after an episode is published, or after a newsletter edition goes out.

Jeremy Enns: 18:47
And you know, when you when you have a small audience, it's probably not going to be every single episode. But if like nobody ever does that, like that, to me is a sign that like there is some problem somewhere that like this is not moving anyone to that that point if I have 1000 listeners or 500 listeners, and nobody's ever said that like, well, clearly this is not resonating deeply enough.

Yong-Soo Chung: 19:08
Jeremy experienced this phenomenon himself with his last show, which was in the wellness segment, this podcast production agency, I used to make a show called The Build a Better wellness biz aimed at serving the niche of helping wellness businesses grow.

Jeremy Enns: 19:21
I didn't have an audience in that space. So I was essentially starting from zero. And I was probably getting, you know, 25 to 50 downloads an episode during the first kind of like 20 episodes that I've produced at something like that. And yet I regularly almost every single week I got like a different person reaching out either through LinkedIn or Twitter or email saying something nice about the show and like really like a fuse of things.

Yong-Soo Chung: 19:43
Even within the first five episodes. He received a couple of these emails, which to him was a sign that he was onto something with the show.

Jeremy Enns: 19:50
And as you start to get those regularly, I think that's a really good sign that like okay, you're doing something good just keep doing it and the results are going to come.

Yong-Soo Chung: 19:57
If you don't get unsolicited responses, then you might probably consider soliciting them. That is, you might consider sending out surveys to understand what people think about the podcast. According to Jeremy, this is a good idea. But...

Jeremy Enns: 20:12
There's so hard to get from podcasts specifically, I would consider like incentivizing it in some way, if you can, if you're early on. Also, like, if you have an email list that there's a good deal of overlap, like, make sure you're using that to send the survey out.

Yong-Soo Chung: 20:25
A quick note here, ensure that you have a sizable audience before you send out the surveys. Because if you only have a couple 100, listeners, you might not get more than one or two responses. The other thing Jeremy recommends is manually building a list of people who have reached out to you on social media.

Jeremy Enns: 20:40
If anybody has ever reached out on social media, they've commented on a post they DM you, like make a list of these people. And just like be the person who engages with them first and like, reach out and like just like engage with their content, social media, build a relationship with these people.

Yong-Soo Chung: 20:54
You could even reach out to these people and ask them to talk with you about the show. Ask them if they'd be open to hopping on a zoom call with you to explore some ideas or give you some feedback.

Jeremy Enns: 21:03
And most people if they liked the show, they're 100% going to do that. And I think you can get so much information from people like through a conversation that is so much harder to get from like a survey or just like social media posts or things like that. So that is something I think really early on when you're just you know, less than 100 listeners, like if you can identify three people who all have like raised their hand in some way and said like, you know, they love the show, probably like those are the people you want more of, because like it's resonating with them. Of course, there is also the flip side, the flip side of that is you talk to them and you're like these are not at all the people I want to attract like I'm attracting the wrong people, I need to shift something around my content.

Yong-Soo Chung: 21:38
To summarize, rather than waiting for inspiration or feedback to come to you early on, Jeremy suggests that you actively go out and initiate contact with your audience. This will help you gain a much better understanding of what works with your audience and what doesn't, which in turn will give you a clearer understanding of the retention capabilities of your content. And that's our for retention of Jeremy's ears framework. Up next is the final piece of the puzzle, and one that you probably are most curious about the s stylized as the dollar sign which represents sales revenue monetization aspect of your content. And after that, I will also be sharing some amazing podcast marketing tips that Jeremy shared with me during the interview. But these will only be accessible to premium subscribers of our First Class Founders podcast.

Yong-Soo Chung: 22:32
The First Class Founders membership enjoys many other perks such as early access to each episode and an uninterrupted listening experience. Another huge perk is the ability to listen to the raw, unedited interview with Jeremy as it happened, and get a peek behind the scenes so to speak. In the full conversation, you'll get to hear a lot more of Jeremy's thought process and fascinating tidbits of knowledge from him such as...

Jeremy Enns: 22:56
Actually this might be even lower hanging fruit, but it takes more time and effort is just like going where your ideal audience members are already congregating. And just like showing up regularly and being an asset to that community. And before you go out and spend money on exposure, like I would first look at some of the free ways to get exposure and make sure those people are sticking around before you start putting money behind it.

Yong-Soo Chung: 23:11
The full conversation will be made available to members of the First Class Founders community, which you can join by going to FirstClassFounders.com/join. It's also in the show notes. I'll see you inside the membership.

Yong-Soo Chung: 23:34
Okay, let's now get back to the final piece, the final part of the EAR$ framework. Part four $ for sales, revenue and monetization.

Jeremy Enns: 23:45
I think the whole S category here is like all of your products.

Yong-Soo Chung: 23:49
This one in particular is a bit tricky to understand, since it largely depends on the specifics of the business for which the EAR$ framework is being applied. Case in point, Jeremy himself.

Jeremy Enns: 24:00
I was kind of doing an audit of my whole business related to my course Podcast Marketing Academy. And so I was kind of at a point where I've done a number of launches. And I was like, okay, things are like going decent. But like what is the next step I need to take were like the holes in my funnel or this ecosystem that like are impeding progress.

Yong-Soo Chung: 24:17
That was when he realized the product was not the problem. He had a good product and a good nurture within the community as well. But he saw that the process leading up to the product needed some kind of improvement, some kind of boost. He applied the EAR$ framework to his own product, and arrived at the conclusion that...

Jeremy Enns: 24:35
I was totally lacking on exposure and was kind of mediocre on attraction. And so that kind of gave me the guidance of like, oh, it's very obvious. These are the two things that I need to focus on here.

Yong-Soo Chung: 24:45
Of course, this doesn't have to be the same for everyone. Jeremy gave the example of Instagram influencers.

Jeremy Enns: 24:51
They have a ton of exposure, and they might have huge audiences.

Yong-Soo Chung: 24:55
But having tons of exposure and huge audiences doesn't necessarily mean that it will translate to great sales and monetization. To underline this point further, Jeremy mentioned the example of that one Instagram influencer.

Jeremy Enns: 25:07
I can't remember what her name was, but she couldn't sell like 16 t-shirts.

Yong-Soo Chung: 25:10
This happened in 2019. And it is a wild story. The Instagram are in question is named Ariana Renee and she goes by the handle Arii, that's ARII. She had 2.6 million followers at the time and posted that she was launching a clothing line, but needed to sell an initial drop of 36 not 16  t-shirts for the company to continue producing them. And she couldn't, she couldn't find 36 people out of our 2.6 million followers to buy her t-shirts.

Jeremy Enns: 25:43
That to me is either a sign of like a problem with the nurturing, or I think probably more likely, because I imagine a lot of her fans like, do really like her and come follow her posts every single day, they might or might not have a depth of a relationship. So that, you know, probably could be worked on. But I think also, I was actually just reading about this the other day, and there's a lot of analysis around, it's just like the totally wrong product for that audience.

Yong-Soo Chung: 26:05
This here is a key point to remember, it's actually quite simple and intuitive when you think about it. But it's so crucial that I still want to reiterate it. Before you offer your audience a product, any product, make sure that they're the right fit for it.

Jeremy Enns: 26:18
And so I think like that's something that many of us will encounter. At some point. Like I've certainly created products that were not the right fit. Like I wasn't the right person to be creating them, even though maybe I had some expertise. But it wasn't associated with what I was known for. Or it's not the right product for the audience or the audience that you've built. Maybe it's like, you know, a good product for one audience, but you have the wrong one.

Yong-Soo Chung: 26:40
So putting together the learnings from his Instagram anecdote and his personal experience, Jeremy offers this insight about how to implement the S of the EAR$ framework.

Jeremy Enns: 26:50
If you have a goal of saying like, Okay, I want to make you know, $100,000 a year from whatever my creator businesses, then looking at like, okay, well, what are the components here.

Yong-Soo Chung: 26:59
I know that sounds a bit daunting to hear. But let's make this a little easier. I want you to listen carefully to how Jeremy applies the EAR$ framework for his own offerings. Specifically, I want you to pay attention to the process he uses to assign letter grades at various points of the EAR$ framework.

Jeremy Enns: 27:16
So I'll give an overall letter grade to each category of the EAR$ framework. But I'll also like list all the things I'm currently doing that fall into that category. And again, each of those a letter grade and I then like list bullet points, like okay, why is this great? Why is this not great? And so, you know, one thing could be on sponsorships, maybe you like don't have you don't advertise that you offer sponsorship. So you occasionally get them in coming. But you know that there's things you could do to improve it. And so that one gets a pretty low grade where it's like, yeah, I guess I have this in place, but I'm not really utilizing it. Well, I don't have a great like, you know, quote unquote, sales page for sponsorships, I don't like have all my audience data to give to sponsors. So that's gets a poor grade. On the other side, you can say like, Well, my course actually is doing really great. And maybe just like, there's a couple points, I need to like clean up on, you know, maybe some landing page copy or something like that. But like the product is great. And so I'm actually gonna give myself a high grade there. And you can kind of look at like, the aggregate of like, okay, these are all the things that would contribute to me reaching my monetization goal. And looking at like, how is each of them contributing? Should I just cut some of these and focus on other ones, maybe I have just one thing. It's like a course that I believe in, but it's just not performing. And that's a signal like, Okay, I've got the audience, I've got the retention, I got all these things, the course isn't performing as well as I'd like. Like, that's the problem, like, the product is the thing I have to fix here. And maybe that's tweaking that product, maybe that's creating a different product entirely. And so that's kind of how I think about that that final category of revenue or sales or whatever you want to call it.

Yong-Soo Chung: 28:38
To quickly unpack that wonderful sequence of events as narrated by Jeremy. First, he gives an overall letter grade to each category of the EAR$ framework. Next, it drills down into each category and lists out all the things he's doing within that category. He then assigns letter grades to each of these things that he's currently doing. Finally, he evaluates anything with a lower letter grade and decides how he wants to fix them. In summation, Jeremy converts the daunting process of figuring out monetization of his offering into something as simple as assigning letter grades to his own efforts. I think that is an amazing reframing of perspective. And there you have it, the four parts of the EAR$ framework.

Yong-Soo Chung: 29:24
Part one, E for exposure.

Jeremy Enns: 29:26
Get in front of people who are going to be your ideal audience members and like be a resource, you know, in that community.

Yong-Soo Chung: 29:34
Part two, A for attraction.

Jeremy Enns: 29:36
It's like the thing that gets them over the threshold to take like, whatever that next action is, once they are aware of you.

Yong-Soo Chung: 29:44
Part three, R for retention.

Jeremy Enns: 29:46
If you're creating something valuable, that like keeps people coming back, like you're gonna have a high retention score.

Yong-Soo Chung: 29:52
Part four, S for sales, revenue and monetization.

Jeremy Enns: 29:56
I think the whole S category here is like all of your products.

Yong-Soo Chung: 30:01
Of course, you probably realize by now that the EAR$ framework only helps you on a very high level by identifying gaps and strengths in your system. But then within each category of the EAR$ framework, there's a whole set of tactics or sub tasks that you could do to close these gaps or play up your strengths. Like with an exposure, for example.

Jeremy Enns: 30:22
You could use ads or you can do you know, SEO, you could do podcasts guesting or cross promotions or newsletter swaps, or like there's PR, like each of them has its own complex challenge to figure out how to do well.

Yong-Soo Chung: 30:33
Of course, there's always the risk that you focus too much on one of the categories. And it just happens to be the wrong one. Jeremy mentioned how someone will sometimes come up to him and say.

Jeremy Enns: 30:42
I'm spending like 20 hours a week on marketing, why am I not getting results, and then you like look at this EAR$ Framework, and you're like, oh, because all of it is in the retention category. And I'm creating so much content that is really valuable to my listeners. But I'm not actually getting it out in front of people or it's not attractive, or whatever it is.

Yong-Soo Chung: 30:57
What the EAR$ framework does really well is that it helps you compartmentalize your efforts in growing your business and your audience.

Jeremy Enns: 31:04
And then you kind of like within that need to like say, okay, this quarter focused entirely on exposure. What do I need to do to write like, awesome Twitter threads that grow my audience there that get people back to my newsletter that then gets them into the podcast? Or how am I where am I going to advertise on different newsletters? Or, you know, what am I going to do to get that exposure and then you kind of go deep on one tactic within that in summation that your framework is really helpful for getting high level direction on where to focus your attention on like a quarterly or annual basis.

Yong-Soo Chung: 31:33
Oh, and one last thing, since Jeremy is the founder of Podcast Marketing Academy, I also asked him his thoughts about the state of podcasting. And if he had any specific podcast growth tip to share with us, here's a small sample of his thoughts on the subject.

Jeremy Enns: 31:47
Pick one place, whether that's Twitter, whether that's LinkedIn, whether that's Instagram, whether that's like a private community for somebody in your niche who has a way bigger show than yours, or, you know, YouTube channel, or whatever it is, they're like an influencer of some kind. They have a Facebook community or you know, a circle community that has, you know, 1000 people in it or you know, 200 people in it, whatever it is, like, just go be there. Don't promote your show, just like be a resource, and like people will find their way back to your content.

Yong-Soo Chung: 32:12
If you want to hear more of Jeremy's superb insights on podcasting, growth, and marketing, you can check out the raw, unedited interview by becoming a premium subscriber to the First Class Founders podcast, go to FirstClassFounders.com/join. You can find and connect with Jeremy through the Podcast Marketing Academy website. He's put together a page, especially for members of the FirstClassFounders community with his social media details and all other goodies, which you can access over at...

Jeremy Enns: 32:40
Podcastmarketingacademy.com/firstclass, all one word, no dashes, no spaces, nothing like that. And so yeah, you can find links to social and also the EAR$ audit that I mentioned before it you can find that there and can go through and grade yourself. And yeah, feel free to tag me in a post once you go through and get your results and I'd love to see how you scored.

Yong-Soo Chung: 33:05
All right, that wraps up today's show. In the next episode of First Class Founders. I'm revealing lessons that I recently learned from my frustrating experience with Amazon. Yes, that Amazon, the company that prides itself on customer obsession and service. I'll tell you exactly what happened and more importantly, what lessons we can learn from my own frustrating experience with Amazon. This is a juicy episode, so be sure to tune in. And one last thing before I go. If you're a new listener, and you enjoyed this episode, you can follow the show by going to FirstClassFounders.com and clicking on the link that matches your preferred podcast player like Apple Podcasts or Spotify. If you're a repeat listener, I'd really appreciate a five-star review. I know you're probably sick and tired of me saying this. But, your ratings and reviews really help us continue to improve the show. I read every single review myself. Please head over to FirstClassFounders.com/review and leave us a five-star review. Thank you so much. If you want to connect with me, I would love to hear from you. You can follow me on Twitter at @YongSooChung and let me know if you enjoyed this episode. I take feedback very seriously and would love to hear your thoughts on how to improve the show. You can find links to all my social accounts in the show notes. I'll see you on the next episode of First Class Founders.