Not long ago Luis Congdon was homeless. Now he is running a successful digital business and he credits podcasting as the primary catalyst for his success. In this episode Luis reveals how he used this single powerful tool to completely transform his life and shares some valuable podcasting tips.
- To find out about Luis’ podcasting business: podcasterssecretweapon.com
- To learn more about Luis’ marketing business: thrivinglaunch.com
Transcript of: Podcasting Tips To Jumpstart Your Success Online With Luis Congdon
Welcome to the Project Ignite Podcast, a podcast designed to skip all the hype, skip all the b.s. and just bring you real actionable tips and strategies to help you grow your business on the Internet. Today we’re going to be getting podcasting tips from a pretty interesting and incredible entrepreneur who, only two years ago, was effectively homeless sleeping on a friend’s couch, in his own car, sometimes in a park.
As we fast forward a few years later, in just one year his online business career using podcasting and sharing podcasting tips is now generating over $10,000 a month. He’s a networking machine. He’s networked his way into Dan Kennedy’s inner circle and other top marketing circles.
He’s landed speaking gigs in some pretty darn big venues. He’s got testimonials from UFC heavyweight champions, copyrighting legends, the podcast phenomenon, John Lee Dumas. He’s interviewed GKIC, (Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle) two times marketer of the year, Seth Green…
Luis chiming in, “And testimonials with him, too.”
And testimonials with him. That’s right. And many other high level influencers. So without further ado, I’d like to welcome Luis Congdon.
Luis, thanks for being here.
Hey, thank you. Awesome to be here.
Before we dig into the specifics and start talking podcasting tips, I know your story at a high level. Let’s dig into that. Can you share your story? How did you go from two years ago sleeping in a car or a park or on a friend’s couch to where you are today? Share your journey with us.
I really think that our first eight years of life, speaking from a psychologist’s perspective, the first eight years of life deeply impact us. And as a child actually, I was homeless as well in a third world country.
No father in the home. I lost my mother when I was five years old and ended up homeless and then was adopted into the United States. So I think that played a big role into my adulthood and then becoming homeless again.
And trying to start my own business and trying to figure this out, kind of putting everything on the line. I ended up homeless. I was sleeping on a friend’s couch, I’d sleep in my car, sleep in a park.
I was too embarrassed to really tell people where I was at financially, so most people didn’t know that I was homeless. I didn’t really reach out to my community. It’s not that I lacked friends and family that could support me. I just didn’t want people to know that about me.
I think in some ways, too, I kind of needed to go through that experience so I could burn that fire, so to speak, because I had this attachment to feeling like I’d been poor most of my life, like I didn’t have enough. I think that when you think about something so much, whether it’s a fear or a desire, if you think about something enough, it becomes a reality for you. That’s where I ended up at.
Now fast forward from being homeless to now, just a couple years later, and I’m doing really well financially. I’ve got a business that’s blossoming, an incredible education that’s growing very quickly in the business world, speaking at different events, selling digital products and coaching, sharing podcasting tips and now can charge . . .
Recently it’s kind of interesting, I actually got paid $1,500 for less than an hour worth of work, and the client knew that. I made it very clear. “Hey, you’re going to pay me $3,000 and it’s actually going to take me an hour to do this work, but if you want, I can take four or five hours. It’s going to be the same thing.”
The guy didn’t care. Once you start dealing with higher profile people, they don’t really care. They just care about the results, and he knew the results were going to be built into the work. So it didn’t matter.
The journey for me of becoming an entrepreneur has been a journey of really kind of coming against my own personal demons and realizing what money is and what it isn’t, what value and self-worth is. It’s been a really incredible ride, and I feel that podcasting and sharing podcasting tips has been at the epicenter of all of it. It has been the big game changer.
When you were going through this process, can you tie it back to a point, maybe there was a turning point or a point when you kind of went, “I get it” or a point when you changed from that mindset, that fear of homeless to “wow, this is it?” Do you remember when that was?
I do remember when that was. The biggest thing for me is that I come from the nonprofit world. Having grown up in a third world country until I was adopted, and experiencing a lot of suffering and pain in my life, I had this feeling that there’s a lot of human suffering on the planet. A lot of the suffering that happens, we’re actually responsible for it. We do it to each other, and human relationships are responsible for that pain and suffering.
So I dedicated a lot of my life to trying to become a monk and then later just working in the nonprofit realizing that I wasn’t ever really going to become a monk and live in some sort of secluded kind of lifestyle but that I was meant to be in the world, but I could bring these kind of monk elements into this world.
So for nearly 10 years I worked in the nonprofit field helping homeless people and immigrants and all of that. That’s been incredible work, and I cherish it.
But one of the challenges that came for me when I came into the for-profit world and being an entrepreneur is that I knew how to give, but I didn’t know how to ask. I didn’t know how to have prices and fees, and I didn’t know how to sell.
I remember one day hopping on a phone call with somebody and talked to him and he said, “So you have an email list?” I said, “Yeah. It’s maybe 500 people.” He said, “Okay. Cool. And you have a Facebook group?” And I said, “Yeah. It’s close to maybe 1,000 people.”
And he said, “Okay. Great. How often do you offer to make sales to these people?” And I said, “Never.” And he said, “So you have all this stuff that you worked to build up, but you don’t ever make pitches, you don’t let them know that you have stuff to sell?” I was like, “No. I kind of hope that maybe they’ll write me and ask me ‘cuz I’m showing so much value.”
He said, “It doesn’t work that way, Luis. Look at anybody.” And then he started giving me examples, and he said, “Look at this guy’s Facebook group. The guy’s blatantly telling you, ‘Buy my stuff.” And he said, “Check out this email. This guy’s blatantly trying to sell you stuff.
The reason people are making money is that they’re providing value but they’re not giving away everything for free and they’re letting people know that they have something to sell, and they’re doing it often. They might give free, free, free and then offer a sale, free, free, free, offer a sale, a sale, a sale, and then free again.”
That really changed everything for me. I was like, “Yeah.” This was the month that for the first time in my life I had committed to spend $11,000 on a marketing plan. It was the first time that on top of rent and everything else I needed to have an extra $11,000 to pay a team. I was really excited – the potential of this $11,000 that it could become $40 or $50,000. It was huge for me. I’d never seen an opportunity like this and really trusted the team that was behind it.
So when I talked to this guy on the phone and he pointed out about selling, I remember going, “All right, man. I’m going to do it.”
I hung up and pretty much that day, grabbed my camera phone, drove over to a park where I had slept, and made a video and said, “Guys, this is where I used to sleep. Just a couple years ago I was sleeping in this park, and now check out my life. You guys see me on Facebook. You guys see me networking with some of the most awesome people. You’ve read my emails. You’ve heard about me. Now’s your chance for you to start learning from me, and here’s what I’m offering. $500 a month course where you’re going to meet with me once a week.”
Four people signed up. That was really cool. To make that video and make a couple thousand dollars right away; that was awesome. Like four or five people signed up that day. And a couple more people signed up.
So then I made some more videos and was like, “Hey guys. Do you want to buy an hour of coaching with me? blah blah blah. Here it is. Here’s the offer.” Some people signed up.
Then I had a digital course, and I started doing things like, “Hey. Do you want to learn how to start a successful podcast? I have great podcasting tips. You guys are struggling and you’ve seen how I’m doing it. I’m making money. I’m going to hop on the call with anyone who’s interested in my digital course for 20 minutes. We can chat about whatever’s struggling for you, and here’s the deal. We’ll talk for 20 minutes, but I’m also going to spend five minutes of those 20 telling you about my course and trying to sell it to you if you want to buy it. If not, that’s cool. I’m going to give you free coaching and that’s fine with me.”
People signed up. I started making sales.
Now I’m kind of evolving to that next space where now I’m getting speaking gigs and sharing podcasting tips with some of the most renowned marketers on the planet, copywriters and freelancers. It’s been an incredible journey to go through, Derek.
First of all, it’s a fantastic story, and I think… well, I know ‘cuz I’ve seen it over my career, how many people get started and are afraid to sell, and in many cases, being afraid to sell when you really dig into it is a bit of a fear of rejection, putting yourself out there and having people say no.
But there’s also this other thing that’s happened in our industry, which I think leads a lot of people astray when they’re first getting started. And that’s the whole concept of just put out the best value. Give, give, give. And it’ll pay back.
That’s exactly what it sounds like you were doing. But the reality is is I agree with the model of give, give lots of value, build relationships, but you always have to have that step of putting a real offer out there and selling.
Yeah. One of the things, too, when I was chatting with this guy. He asked me, “Why aren’t you pitching?” I said, “I’m kind of scared that nobody will buy.” And he said, “Well, that’s just the reality. You’re going to make a pitch and some people will, some people won’t, and the likelihood is the higher percentage of people that won’t.”
Here’s the mind-shift that he helped me with, for people that are listening, is he said to me, “Luis, for the next 30 days I want you to make a pitch every single day,” which I did. He said, “Instead of rating your success on how many people buy, rate your success on how often you’re getting out there and pitching,” which totally shifted it for me.
I was like, “Okay. Awesome. One person just bought my $500 course. Awesome. One person just paid $3,000.” And I just started celebrating the fact that I made a sale, and I started celebrating the fact that I made a pitch because I’ve definitely had days where I made a pitch and no one bought.
And then a month later someone said, “Hey, are you still offering that 12-week course that you had, because I really wanted to buy it then. I just wasn’t sure. I didn’t know who you were. I’ve been watching you. I’m excited to buy it. Where do I buy?” And I’m like, “Whoa. That was like a month ago or two or three months ago,” whatever it might be.
So making pitches is really important.
It is so critical. And being able to turn that part of your mind off that’s saying, “What if nobody buys?” Fearing that rejection. Because that is such a stumbling block for people getting started.
Now, what I want to do is, there’s two kind of areas I want to dive into with you. I think they are two areas that are your super powers and you’ve really leveraged.
The first is networking and the second is podcasting and podcasting tips. I mean, we could probably talk all day about both of these, but let’s just dig into these and try and pull some networking tips and podcasting tips out that our audience and listeners can take away.
So let’s start with networking. I guess the question that I’d open it up with is, how specifically did you use networking as a tool to grow your business? And then for those people just getting started who are not networkers, what advice do you have for them? What steps do they need to take?
Jumping into that first piece about how I’ve used networking is, every successful person that I’ve seen in any arena, I’ve noticed that they know somebody. Let’s take Tim Ferriss, for example. When he launched his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, I know from watching interviews that he hired, I can’t remember the guy’s name, the Chicken Soup for the Soul…
Mark Victor Hansen.
Yeah. The other guy.
Right. That one guy. I know that he hired him to coach him, and I know that that guy introduced him to his book publisher. This book publisher is a very well-known agent – and this agent had many connections.
So you take this guy who’s already doing really well who decides to hire one of the highest grossing New York Times authors, who then introduces him to his agent who clearly, if he’s the agent for one of the best sellers of books, this agent obviously knows some of the best publishers and how to get the best deals.
So these are connections that are pivotal and life-changing and crucial to your success.
When I went and watched Anthony Robbins speak, he talked about a story when some billionaire or something invited him to come out with him and a group of people.
He said, “Look. There’s going to be presidents. There’s going to be diplomats. There’s going to be some of the most well-known, and famous people on the planet are going to be coming to this event. But it’s $30,000 for a five-day trip with all of us. That includes your meal, your flight and everything. You just pay $30,000 and everything’s taken care of. It’s only a group of seven or 10 people.”
Anthony was like, “That seems like a lot of money. Like I can afford it, but $30,000 for five days, it’s a lot of money to anybody.” For some people that’s their yearly income just for five days to be with people.
And he said, “You know what? I decided to go even though it was a financial stretch because the types of people I could meet on this could change my business and my life forever.” He didn’t go deeper into that story, but I know that that trip probably changed his life because now you’re hanging out with these people.
At the end of the day, millionaires, billionaires, they’re people but they’re people who have connections and they’re people that if you can just be around them long enough, that could change your life.
I don’t know whose quote this is, but “You are the five people that you spend most time with,” or “You’re the sum average.”
There’s another thing, too. There’s a book called the Millionaire Mind, and T. Harv Eker in there says, “Tell me about the five people you spend the most time with and I’ll tell you your financial future.”
For me, networking and meeting certain people was about changing my circumstances very quickly and dramatically, because if I could change who I’m spending time with, and just as a result, the way I think will change.
Before this phone call, just the first 10, 15 minutes, you said, “Luis. Check on my website and look at some of the things I’m doing. This is why it’s working.” Immediately I’m learning from you, and that’s just for 10, 15 minutes of chatting. Now, imagine you’re doing that three or four times a week. That will change your life.
And here’s the thing, too. It’s not like I’m networking with people and asking them for their education. I honestly just want to hang out with them. If they want to grab a bite to eat, awesome. I just want to sit at your table and watch how they talk and watch their perspectives.
There’s a TV show, Shark Tank, for example. To watch these sharks go and say, “Well, how’s this product scalable? How much have you made a year? How much did you make this month? Who are some of your business partners? What percentage can I buy?” Then I start thinking like an investor and I go, “Wow. That’s how they think.”
Yeah. 100% agree with everything you just said there, and I think that’s why mastermind groups are so popular now. Groups like YEO, Entrepreneurs Organization, are so massive because anybody that’s made it to a certain level of success realizes that their success is very much dependent on the circle of people they surround themselves with.
And that goes back to one of the probably most popular let’s call it self-improvement, personal development books of all time, which is Think and Grow Rich. That’s the whole premise of the book is surrounding yourself with a network of other people that are already successful.
When you got started, so here’s where I think a lot of people struggle. They say, “Luis. Derek. I’m just getting started. I don’t have a network. Why is anybody going to want to hang out with me? What do I do?” How did you overcome that?
There’s a variety of ways of overcoming that. First, people might look at me and my story and go, “Oh my gosh. He must have some ultra-gift” or something, but you’ve got to remember, I was homeless when I started podcasting. When I started my business, I was struggling financially and didn’t know anything about the online business world. I didn’t have any social media. I didn’t have a website.
The biggest thing to remember about networking is that everyone you network with is a human being. First and foremost, they’re a person.
Let’s take, for example, that show Shark Tank. Mark Cuban. He’s a multi-billionaire. He’s probably one of the most well-known billionaires on the planet. Somebody comes on the show, and they were pitching something where they’re helping, there’s this great human cause behind it.
When I looked at Mark Cuban’s face, you could see his humanity come out. “Wow. That’s interesting.” And he decided to invest in this person that was presenting this one. Just business, the cold raw fact of business is, it seemed like a great idea for him monetarily, but when I looked at him and saw this humanness, that’s the thing we have to remember about everybody. They’re human.
Facebook. Great. If you’re not podcasting, you can use Facebook to network with almost anybody you want. Join Facebook groups. Follow these people on Facebook. Make comments. Like their things. And use Twitter in the same way.
Now, if you have figured out how to start a podcast, now you have like a super power. That’s like the machine gun of networking because to network with people that have created a lot of value in the world and people, every action that they take they want it to be high value, well, you just have to come to them with some sort of value.
There’s a reason why almost every great marketer, I’m starting to meet all of them. Not only that, they’re starting to come to me and ask me to come on my show or to meet me, because I now have a big enough network that it’s important to them to know me.
But also, not only that, when you decide to go ahead with starting your own podcast, it doesn’t even have to be that personal. With a podcast, I record something. I produce it to the world.
Now they’ve got content. Now they’ve got one more way to be known. They’ve got one more way to sell their product. They’ve got one more way to create content and value in the world without really having to do a lot of work.
It doesn’t take me much work to sit here and just move my mouth and tell you things that I’ve said a hundred times. But by the end of this interview, Derek will take this, he’ll share it with all of you who are listening, he’ll create fantastic show notes, he’ll link me to his website. Incredible value being added with a podcast.
It’s unlike a YouTube channel, where with YouTube, if Derek and I want to have a great YouTube channel, we’re going to have to get cameras, we’re going to have to get lighting, we’re going to have to SEO the YouTube thing, we’re going to have to use search engines a little bit more to understand how to rank inside of YouTube.
Now, if I want to use and leverage Derek as something from my show, most likely it would be better if he came to my studio and we recorded a chat between us or we did something fun that was entertaining. Now, Derek actually physically has to show up and I still have to set up all the equipment and I still have to upload everything.
With a podcast, I just say, “Hey man. Let’s hop on Skype. I’ll record the thing. I’ll produce it. I’ll send it out. Be awesome. You’ll get thousands of new subscribers. It’ll be great.” Derek say, “All right. Yeah. I get to sit in my underwear and do an interview. Why not?”
Yeah. Exactly. Now, let’s transition into talking about how to start a successful podcast and some podcasting tips and how you utilize this as, from a networking standpoint. It’s been huge for you. Let’s take it back to the beginning and answer the question for beginners. What are the tangible, measurable benefits of starting your own podcast to help launch a business?
Well, starting your own podcast, in a lot of ways, is . . . First, let me just say what a podcast isn’t. Figuring out how to start a successful podcast is not going to build you an email list quickly. That’s not what it really does unless you know how to do the SEO end of things and really build that end. Then, yeah, you’ll build some organic traffic and maybe get more opt-ins and build that. But as far as I’ve seen it, podcast doesn’t really help build an email list.
What starting your own podcast does do, though, is it gives you an amazing billboard. I’ve never had this experience and I’ve talked to hundreds of people now about this, maybe thousands, and I have yet to hear anybody say, “Yeah. I saw a billboard and immediately I pulled over to the Toyota dealer and I bought the car on that picture.”
But I’ve talked to people and said, “Yeah. I got a thing in the mail,” or “I saw that billboard,” and then for some reason, a year later, I decided to buy that car. And I didn’t realize it was because the marketing was working on me.
So that’s what a podcast is. In a lot of ways it’s marketing. It’s a way for you to be everywhere. Be in lots of places.
So if you’re on YouTube and you’re on Instagram and you’re on Facebook and you have a podcast, you’re in a lot of places.
So after a while, this person, kind of like that movie Inception, this person has this idea. “Yeah. I’m going to learn how to start podcast. That sounds great. Man. I am so smart. I know exactly where to buy that course and get great podcasting tips.” Then they head to my website, they buy my course.
But the whole time, I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve been on Instagram, I’ve been on my website, I’ve been on YouTube, teaching them, giving them information and podcasting tips. They’ve been listening to all those podcasting tips, and then after a while, they think it’s their great idea. But I’ve been seeding that plant for quite a while.
Podcasts are so different than any other channel because they’re portable – people can take it with them, and when somebody listens to your voice, listens to you for hours and hours at a time, whether they want to or not, you’re creating a relationship with them.
That is going to keep you front of mind when they do need to make a decision to purchase or to invest in something within the field that you’re operating.
When you got started, and this is the other question that I know comes up a lot is, what do you podcast about? What was your first podcast? And how did you decide on your topics? Any podcasting tips to share in this area?
Well, first, you can podcast about anything and everything. I’ve been on a podcast that was for aestheticians. I’ve been on podcasts that are run by fathers and the show is for fathers. I’ve been on a podcast that is run by moms and the show is for moms and parents.
I’ve been on these shows, because I have a background in the relationship world, so I can go on a lot of different topics and discuss different areas. So you can podcast about anything and everything you want.
I’ve known people who talk to dogs for a living and make a great living doing that, charging hundreds of dollars an hour and having a very leisurely full schedule, and they talk to dogs.
I mean, you can do anything you want in this world and be good at it if you understand the mechanisms of running a business and you can deliver. Then you can find the market.
Learning how to start a successful podcast and utilizing podcasting tips allows you to deliver and it allows you to attract the market so you can talk about anything.
What was the other part of that question?
Damn. I don’t remember.
Oh. You asked me about my first show. My first show was a relationship show. I had the idea in mind that I wanted to connect with the most well-known people in the relationship world, ranging from Marianne Williamson, Don Miguel Ruiz, Dr. Harville Hendrix, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Dr. Joel Fuhrman. This stuff, for me, all relates to relationships.
And one of my first guests was Dr. Harville Hendrix, 19-time Oprah guest, record-setting guest. No one’s been on Oprah that many times. Interviewed him without a website, without a podcast yet. I know how to write to people and get them interested and excited, and I learned that through a lot of work.
I got him on the show. We had an amazing interview, and then at the end of it, he actually invited me to come out to New York, to pay for me to come out to his 3-day event, take care of all the expenses, and get to meet him and get fed and have a place to sleep and be trained by him for three days.
And then at the end of the event, I met him in person, and he invited me to come down to Texas to help kind of co-facilitate a class that he was doing as part of his nonprofit project.
This is the power of podcasting. This isn’t the first time stuff like this has happened. This is one of the ways that I’ve been now invited to speak at speaking gigs with people like Ray Higdon, Dan Meredith, Ryan Stewman. The list of amazing people speaking at this next event is ridiculous, and I’m one of the newest, youngest, most up-and-coming speakers at this event. It’s crazy.
I’ve never spoken in front of an audience of over 100 people. I’ve taught relationship courses for three years and worked with over 300 married couples, but I’ve never gotten on a stage and tried to sell from a stage or educate outside of the relationship niche.
The reason why these changes are happening for me so quickly is because podcasting has allowed me to get on phone calls with people that I really love and admire. And that love and admiration shines through, and that level of respect shines through. And from there I’m able to create a friendship, because at the end of the day, these are people and I know how to connect with people and I know how to make people feel good.
That translates to usually a friend. If not, at least someone that recognizes my name and knows my face in the crowd.
That’s absolutely massive. I think this is where a lot of people disconnect, and you did it really well. You started off by reaching out to people that were high profile people before you even had your podcast, which is fricking awesome, and booking them on the show.
I love that you did that, because so many people would never take that step. I think it really does come back a little bit to that fear of rejection. What if they say no?
But one of the unique things about podcasting and one of my favourite podcasting tips is how well it can work for you even if you don’t have an audience and you’re in a niche outside of the Internet marketing space, right? In the realm of podcasters and Internet marketers, everybody kind of understands what’s going on.
But if you are doing a podcast on how to talk to dogs, for example, and you reach out to this expert trainer and dog whisperer somewhere, and you say, “Hey, I’ve got a podcast. Here it is. It’s on iTunes. I’d love to have you as a guest.”
There’s inherent credibility because most people outside this niche don’t understand how simple it is to have your own podcast. So you have this credibility and you can book these guests, and I would encourage our listeners to really just get out there, create that podcast. It’s simple to do.
Luis, you have courses that teach people step-by-step how to do this, along with great podcasting tips. And to start building that audience and leveraging that to create your network as you’ve done. I mean, you’ve got the results to prove it.
Now, we’re starting to run out of time here, but before we wrap up, Luis, where can our listeners find out more about you, your business, the podcasting tips and the podcast courses that you have?
Definitely. If people want to learn more about me, my business and everything else that we’re doing, they can head on over to thrivinglaunch.com. That’s going to be the best place. If you’re just interested in how to start a podcast and podcasting tips, you can look up the podcasterssecretweapon.com. That’s just a little plug for that program, but honestly, thrivinglaunch.com will have everything that you need.
That’s fantastic. Luis, thanks so much for unconditionally sharing your story and strategies and podcasting tips with our guests. I really appreciate it.
It’s been my pleasure. Thank you, thank you and thank you, everybody, to your community. Thank you so much for having me on the show.
Fantastic. All right, everyone. That was Luis Congdon, networker/podcasting expert sharing his podcasting tips and, as always, any links mentioned in the interview will be included in the show notes along with our absolutely kick-ass transcripts. You’ll find all of those at ProjectIgnite.com/podcast.
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Now, it’s time to take all of the podcasting tips, tools and strategies that Luis so generously shared with us and apply that final essential ingredient for making it work. And that ingredient is action. So go forth. Take action. Apply what you’ve learned and stay tuned for more info-packed episodes of the Project Ignite Podcast.
This is your host, Derek Gehl, signing off.