On this episode of Establishing Your Empire I host Sachit Gupta. For the past 10 years Sachit has been the person behind the scenes working with creators like Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin & Andrew Warner. Now he is out front and center with his podcast the Conscious Creators Show which in the first 30 days ranked #1 in entrepreneurship, #2 in business and #25 in all podcasts. Sachit is one of geniuses behind some of the biggest names that includes #1 podcasters, #1 NYT Bestselling authors, international sports stars, musicians and media companies.
We chat about how to turn free work into paying clients, the transition to creating his own podcast, how he created a TEDx at Carnegie Mellon without even a website and so much more.
Platforms Media: https://www.platformsmedia.com
I think one of the biggest things was I had this expectation that I had to find the angle and find my voice and then I would start podcasting. What I’ve now discovered is that you don’t sit on a couch and wait… and suddenly there’s a lightning bolt and now you have your voice and then you can start it, you start doing it and through the process of doing it is, is how you discover more, even more than discover, actually think it’s uncover. I think a lot of us think it’s like this like journey of like discovering where you go out, like Christopher Columbus and find something outside and actually thinking sort of discovered, uncovered where it’s inside you.
And it’s been there all along and you have to remove all the stuff from society’s put on you. But the only way you can do that is through action. It can’t be you’re sitting on a couch and you write affirmations and then there’s a lightning bolt that comes from the sky and like there’s like violins playing and boom!
You have it all.
Daran Herrman: [00:00:56] You’re listening to the Establishing your Empire show, a podcast that inspires entrepreneurs, creatives, and future business owners to pursue their passions for other organizations and build their empire. My name is Daran Herrman and creatively. I’m best known for my photography, business. My claim to fame is growing a company from 15 K per month in online sales to breaking the $1 million a month barrier.
And I’m sitting down with interesting people to talk about the process, the lessons they’ve learned and how they have established their empires.
All right. I got Sachit Gupta here on the Establishing your Empire podcast. For the past 10 years, Sachit has been the person behind the scenes working with creators like Tim Ferriss, Seth Goden, and Andrew Warner. Now he’s out front and center with his podcast, the Conscious Creators show, which in the first 30 days ranked number one in entrepreneurship, number two in business and number 25 in all podcasts. So I’m really excited to have you here on the show today.
Sachit Gupta: [00:01:56] Thank you so much for having me and thank you for that amazing intro.
Daran Herrman: [00:02:01] Oh, you’re welcome. So what I’d love to start is while you’re in college around college time, I’ve I heard that you did a TEDx show.
Like I don’t, I don’t, I think that maybe it’s a good place to start, but like maybe give us that story, how that came about, that sounds crazy right.
Sachit Gupta: [00:02:18] Yeah, it looking back. It was, I think back in college, I was always more excited about doing the stuff that I was doing outside of classes and just sort of like doing projects and stuff.
the way the TEDx came about was I was, reading all of these books, like sets book Tim’s book. And I also want them to be like, I want to bring these stories. To the people. I, my, to my friends, like I was the weird kid in my fraternity who had a copy of, the four hour work week. And I w I will teach you to be rich.
And it was like giving it to my friends, and like my junior year in college. So I had another friend in college, a young guy who was also in, into the stuff. And he had basically applied for a license for the TEDx, and I met him and I was like, I wanna help you with it. And we basically decided to do it together.
And really like, the thing for me was. All the people that I was inspired by bringing them to our school and create a platform for them to share their message with, my friends and it’s, it’s kind of crazy looking back. there’s a Steve jobs quote of, you can connect the dots looking forward, but you can only connect them looking backward.
that was sort of also the Genesis of what I’m doing now, which is basically creating platforms for other creators and now myself, but on a much larger scale.
Daran Herrman: [00:03:28] Yeah. So let’s talk about that, you know, creating a platform for others. Like I guess, how did you start to get in touch or work with the, you know, we have this big list on your intro right.
Of creatives that you’ve worked with, but obviously you don’t just start with one of the big ones, most likely, at least for most people. So how did that come about to where you could work with somebody else? A big name,
Sachit Gupta: [00:03:52] right. Yeah. So I’ll start with the TEDx part. TEDx was interesting cause we, I remember now, like we basically had a Facebook page in the Facebook event and we started emailing all of these people.
And I still remember one of the first ones to say yes was Jonathan Fields. who’s written a lot of books and as a podcast and everything now, and I remember I sent him an email, basically a call him and remolding like, Hey, we’re in college, we’re doing this event. Would you like to speak? And he was in New York or in Pittsburgh.
I remember he like responded asking all of these questions. I was like, I don’t know how to reply to this. Cause we didn’t even have a website we’d literally just like had the brand TEDx and the brand Carnegie Mellon. And somebody said it was two because it was 2010. TEDx was only a year old. So it wasn’t like there was some procedures associated with that and like Carnegie Mellon, and then he replied back like an hour or two later he’s was like, fuck it.
I’m in. And that was like one of the first speakers we booked. And it was really like, at that point, I was just going off people. I was reading books. So now the speaker was Chris Gugu, who written had the audit nonconformity blog, chase Jarvis, who is now the founder of creative life and all these things.
And yeah, we just like found people and I think there’s almost like. Being a little naive, cause you’re in college. You’re like, of course I can just send them an email and they’ll say, yes, another thing I remember, we actually didn’t realize that like when you invite people to speak at a thing, you have to pay them or you have to like, at least cover their expenses.
We were like a volunteer organization. So we didn’t even like know we had to like cover hotels and flights until like a speaker asked her, like, are you covering hotels in place? And we’re like, We don’t have any money. So, some of the speakers, actually, most of them actually covered their flights and hotels until we raised some sponsorships.
So we were able to cover part of it. So we were just like naive, honestly, but like, I think, I think it was a combination of having a night. Yeah. having a good team, like the team was impossible as in like I’m possible. And then I think it was giving them something which they couldn’t get, which was like speaking at Carnegie Mellon.
So I think the combination of those things is what made them say yes.
Daran Herrman: [00:05:56] Yeah, that’s interesting. I think without the, at Carnegie mellon.edu, that might be an, a difficult ask, but you know, I think that’s something important is just asking. Sometimes you never know what will happen. so what, what happened next?
So you, so you have this great TEDx, event, and then you graduate college. What do you do? What do you do after college
Sachit Gupta: [00:06:16] and what you said about like, just asking anything. And I think the kids these days call it, shoot your shot. But yeah, I think it’s like in a lot of ways, like that’s the first thing is a lot of times people will.
And I, I, I go through the same thing, which is like, hesitate on sending the email and all these things. And like, you have to ask yourself, like, what’s the worst that can happen. Just send that email. for me, I graduated college. And worked at GE and very quickly knew that, like, this wasn’t the thing for me.
So I had, I, after a year, I basically ended up quitting my job. And I remember like, one of our speakers at TEDx was Chris LIMU. And he talked about like traveling the world. So when I quit my job, I had two choices. I could either do go travel or I could like do the smart thing and get a job. Right. And I remember, calling my parents and I was like, I think I did the smart thing.
And I booked a one way ticket to Bangkok and like, they were not very happy about that, but I was like, I’m not getting gonna get this chance. I ended up traveling for six months, then moved to San Francisco to start a business. And I basically sent, or are your like hundreds of cold emails? To all these companies being like, Hey, like I know marketing, like as clients are.
And then at some point it was like, just give me a job or something. Cause I’d been out of like a job for a year. And I was like, what the hell am I doing? And for a long time it didn’t work. one of the emails I’d send mostly like Andrew Warner who basically ended up saying, yes, we got on a call. And I remember like, I presented him all of these ideas and he was like, this is really good, but my company isn’t ready to hire you.
No. I was like, this is the best rejection I’ve gotten so far or the politest rejection. And it just, and then in those moments we have to do is you just have to keep going and like trying, cause at some point something will work. So Andrew moved to San Francisco a few months later and like he would work out of these offices called Regis.
And I was like, if I’m near him, He might like one of my top or whatever. So I started like working from Regis. Cause I didn’t have any clients. but it had a membership to their like lounge. I would just like go there and like send more Colima and at one point he was doing this project and he was like, Hey, can you help me with this?
And I was like, sure. So he. I ended up helping him. And he’s like, how much are you going to charge? I’m like, Oh, it’s free. He’s like, no, no, I want to pay you. So I remember like, my voice was like cuddling when I was like, he’s like, what’s your rate? I’m like, a hundred an hour. And he’s like, okay. So you’re wired me, like send me like $200 on PayPal.
And that was one of the first like, moments of like working in with someone like that, that I wanted to work with
Daran Herrman: [00:08:33] and to kind of, take a little cut out of the story real quick. I love to talk about. Doing work for free. So I, I, you know, I’m been in the photo video world for a long period of time.
There’s this really negative stigma about, you know, doing work for exposure and free work. What’s your approach to doing work for free
Sachit Gupta: [00:08:55] this? I don’t think where heard the story of like, Warren buffet. He, his professor in college was Benjamin Graham who was like very well-known investor and, We’re not actually offered to work for free for him.
And he was like, no, because this is actually very expensive for me. If you want to work for me, work with me, you have to pay me because you’re getting like more out of this. Right. So I think, I agree with the negative stigma thing, and there’s a lot of, sort of in creative fields where ex-fiance will promise.
Ex exposure, which is like, what the fuck does that mean to people? can I curse and stuff?
Daran Herrman: [00:09:28] Oh yeah.
Sachit Gupta: [00:09:29] Yeah. Like people, people that promise like exposure. Right. What the fuck does that mean? So I agree with that negative stigma where like, I think actually a lot of like creatives are taken advantage of, and.
at the same time, I think as a creative, there are certain things or certain people that you can work with, that strategically can be very advantageous. And also like when you do it a lot of times if one workout, but the few times it does, it can change the game. I think a great example is Dirac and him working with gay men or truck, and look at now where he has, I actually learned this strategy from Charlie Hoehn who wrote this book called recession proof graduate who used free work to work with Tim Ferriss, Tucker max, and all of these people.
And I basically literally like copied his strategy, copied the emails he had in his book and send them to Andrew and a few people. And that’s how I started working with Andrew. So, so I think strategically it can be an amazing strategy and something I still use today.
Daran Herrman: [00:10:21] Well, and one thing that I always do with the work for free thing is I set your expectations up front.
Not only, not only with the client, but with yourself, like, and make it like it’s a paid gig. Cause a lot of times, when it’s free expectations is all over the place. Sometimes you fall short because you know, you’re not getting paid. So it’s like on priority list, pretty low. And what a lot of people don’t understand too, and not to get too far into it, but.
Like sometimes you shouldn’t take a client on, because it might not make sense for you as well. Well, the same thing about a free deal. You gotta, you gotta interview your client and be like, you know, is this gonna help my skills or my, my network or whatever it is. But, working for free is very powerful.
It’s something that I did a lot. getting it early on and because then you could, you could have a portfolio, you know, you have a book of business, right?
Sachit Gupta: [00:11:08] yeah, it, right. Like, let’s say like you’re getting a job or a gig. If you undermine mental and what are the things you’re getting you’re, you’re getting financial value.
You’re getting social capital, right? Like with the relationships that you’re building. You can get a brand, right? So like, let’s say like you work with free, like Airbnb founders when they were starting out. And so you can be like, I was like earlier Airbnb, and also like coming back, like the biggest thing is skillset.
So if you can be part of a journey where your skillset like goes up like this, then you can then leverage that to get other clients. It’s like, I think most people think of value as just financial. But really like when you’re working with someone there’s all these other four forms of value that sometimes can be much bigger than the financial value.
For example, for me working with Andrew w one, it got me into the podcast ecosystem. And like, I wasn’t thinking about this stuff back then, but like now, like looking back at gummy did the podcast ecosystem, but more importantly, Andrew was interviewing successful entrepreneurs because now I had a relationship with, Andrew.
People who were entrepreneurs or successful entrepreneurs wanting to build a relationship with you? Right? So like the social capital and the network that I’ve built through that relationship, was it, wasn’t his word more than any financial upset?
Daran Herrman: [00:12:26] And to give some context, Andrew Warner he’s, Mixergy is, is the company, which is, they have a bunch of interviews and courses and, you know, just, a pretty large company by nowadays.
I’m not sure what it was back then, but I mean, very popular now it’d be really difficult to work with somebody like that.
Sachit Gupta: [00:12:44] so I quickly want to, I don’t think I agree. Cause I think like one of the things I realized is like no matter, What level someone’s operating at, they have problems. So if you can identify a problem that you can solve and reach out and solve them, you can still work with anyone.
Daran Herrman: [00:12:59] Oh, that’s fantastic. And I, that is good. Completely true. And at any level, right. and I think that’s the thing is, is how can you solve their problem if you are reaching out, that’s probably the thought that, you know, how can you provide them value, right. If you want, you know, somebody that is say that’s very popular to respond to your email, right.
Is, is providing value. It will be the way that they, that you can connect with them.
Sachit Gupta: [00:13:21] another form of value that I think a lot of people don’t think about is just gratitude, right? Like if, if, think of you as a creator or someone as a creator, you’re spending all of this time doing something, how many people are like coming back and being like, this is the impact it had on me.
So if you’re listening, there’s 10. So you’ve loved email. The authors don’t ask for anything and just be like, this is what your book did for me. And maybe like, if you want to ask something, like ask them a question that you have. And actually apply the answer that they give you and then go back in three weeks and be like, I applied to your answer in this way.
And this is what I did like it just by doing that, you’re separating yourself from everyone else who doesn’t do any of that.
Daran Herrman: [00:14:02] It’s a, it’s a great sales strategy as well, as opposed to just cry closed right away. Right. Going straight for close, asking for something why don’t, get into a conversation at back and forth before asking for something right.
I mean that drop in value constantly here. This is great. We haven’t barely got, got past your, your college years. So, and it’s not like we have to go in terms of, of, time, but, so how’d you get your first client? So I know we talked about, you know, work with Andrew. Were you already like working with a bunch of people right there then?
Or, or how did you get your first client as like a quote unquote consultant?
Sachit Gupta: [00:14:37] Yeah. So my first client actually came to me with someone I talk to and we did like a little project together. It wasn’t really anything big. and then I’d done like a few small things like here and there, but yeah, working, doing that thing with Andrew for $200 was like the first big thing where I’m like, okay, I’m working with the level of people I aspire to work with.
So did that with Andrew and then Ashley, like right away, didn’t lead to more. A few months later, we reconnected. And like, he was working on this thing where he was sending these bead bracelets to people and he was like, Hey, like I need more of these main, I don’t have time to deal with it. Can you just do it?
And I was like, you’re, I am with a degree from Carnegie Mellon making bracelets. Right. But it’s like, I think that’s another lesson is sometimes you just have to do the shit work and do it because that can lead to something else. So he hired me and like the way I did that project for him. Well, so different than anything he taught.
He was like, you think differently. Can I hire you for something else for a week, which then turned into two months, which then turned into eight year working relationship where my role started really as like special projects, doing whatever he needed to then me being able to be like, Hey, I’m interested in this.
Can I do this for mixer? Can I do this? Can I do this? And then he was doing sponsorships and I was like, can I do that? I think I can do that better. And, and that became one of the things I’m known for now.
Daran Herrman: [00:15:48] And to get, get back to the kind of working for free, how sound like that one just kind of happened organically, but how have you turned some of those clients from free to paid?
Like, has there been a strategy there? Because I think a lot of people get stuck when they do a free, they’re just always in the free zone.
Sachit Gupta: [00:16:06] Well, the things I try to now do is if I’m starting something for free and I don’t do it as much anymore, and maybe I should is just being very clear of setting expectations.
And what is sort of the result and relationship we’re looking for. And then past what point I, it goes to like a paid contract or something.
Daran Herrman: [00:16:26] I love that yet again, like I was saying before, setting the expectations upfront. So, yeah, maybe just continue kind of the story, like, so, so you, you got this one gig it’s working.
Fantastic. How did you make it into more of a business, right to where you have multiple clients?
Sachit Gupta: [00:16:40] Yeah. So, so working with Andrew, I was doing all these different things. And at some point he was doing sponsorship and I was like, I can do it better. And he said, try it out. And I, he had a list of people who had been interested in sponsoring how to conversation with them was able to basically, yeah.
Double the rates. And he was like, okay, this is working. So I started doing that. And then other people points, I was also doing like Facebook and building websites for people. really, I think getting clients is identifying a skillset that you have finding someone who needs that skillset and basically framing it in a way that’s beneficial to them in coming up with a price and yeah.
Asking doing it
Daran Herrman: [00:17:17] also, I think a lot I’ve even illustrated it in is how did you. Not just get stuck in having a million clients that is just controlling your world. Right. like, because you know, you start doing Facebook ads and then all of a sudden, you know, a plumber wants your services. Right. And that could be great if that’s what you want, but I think there’s also some pitfalls.
So any like, tips or tricks in that area.
Sachit Gupta: [00:17:42] I’m curious, like, is that something you are dealing with right now or something you faced?
Daran Herrman: [00:17:46] I’ve I have faced it throughout my life at always because. I think I love closing deals. And sometimes you, you care about closing the deal more than the, then everything that comes with it.
Right. and so, I’m very self-aware that I have to be careful of that. Right. And I have a lot of people that do come my way. Right. Which is, which is a great, way to do business development. Right. Is the funnels kind of reversed. Right. So, But it’s always something that I have to constantly, make sure I’m not going down that path.
Cause I could kind of feel it usually in that’s usually. but I don’t always listen to it.
Sachit Gupta: [00:18:22] Yeah. And I think in some ways, like when you start out, that’s where you got figured, right? You’re like take every client, take every contractor deal that comes your way. And hopefully you can reach a point and it is a point of privilege where like, you can decide who you want to work with.
Like once I started seeing that, where like there was more inbound than time. I have to get really, really clear on like, who are the type of people I want to work with, what type of clients projects. And then I think once you have that sort of define, it really is just about like being good at setting boundaries in terms of where you’re going to say yes or no to.
Daran Herrman: [00:18:54] And then did you, at that point when you started. Got enough clients where you can pay your bills. Let’s just assume that that’s the stage you’re at. Did you expand services or are narrow? Like what was some thoughts there, right. Of what you,
Sachit Gupta: [00:19:09] yeah, for, for me, I basically cut down the services that I did to like really two, which was like audience growth and monetization to sponsorships, and also sort of made a decision that I didn’t want to build a massive agency.
I was fine being like. Few clients and really just like being really great at that. and so that, that, that’s sort of very captain and I was like, there’s going to be like for new clients, there became a lot of hoops to jump through for me to say yes.
Daran Herrman: [00:19:37] So that’s interesting. Cause that’s kind of opposite of a lot of, a lot of other agency owners want is they want a thousand clients, not, not a few.
Right. yeah, that’s interesting. But, but that’s also probably how you got. More well-known in this narrow area right
Sachit Gupta: [00:19:53] there. I think there’s, I don’t think there’s any right or wrong, but I think there’s especially online. I see there’s this huge fascination with build the biggest business. Like six figures is too little.
You got to go to seven figures knowing eight figures, nine figures. And I’m like, why are we comparing numbers? Like, it feels like comparing something else. I won’t go there, but it just. To me, it was just like, that’s the, it took
Daran Herrman: [00:20:18] me a quarter second there.
Sachit Gupta: [00:20:20] Yeah. I, I think for me, I think there there’s an external journey that happened and then there’s an internal journey.
And sometimes I think a lot of people use, numbers and big businesses to fill. Hold internally that they’re not looking at maybe, and maybe it’s for ego, but I just realized, and I still like have that fight sometimes where I’m like, go in and build a massive business or do I want to do this? And I think that’s a decision you have to make as an entrepreneur and a creator is more, do you actually want?
Daran Herrman: [00:20:46] Yeah, I completely agree. So you, you mentioned that you kind of narrowed your services down and one of them was sponsorships. I think, you know, with the. All these podcasts blowing up. So many, everyone has one, right? Which is, I think is fantastic because I love listening to podcasts. I love the long format.
I don’t want the 62nd little clip. I want the full story. Right? So any unique approaches to sponsorships or. any, anywhere you want to start the conversation. I think it’s also, I think I have a lot of questions in this area. So, maybe just kind of start wherever you would like with the sponsorships of, of your approach or, or how you get started or whatever it would be.
Sachit Gupta: [00:21:23] Yeah. So, so, so generally what happens in podcast on strip is it works on a CPM model for a thousand downloads. You get $25 or whatever. When I started doing sponsored for mixer, I asked myself I’m like, wait, but that doesn’t sound right because the audience for a show like Mixergy. It’s very different from some other show.
And why are they being valued? The same? So when we had the conversation at the first sponsor, I started doing it. I was like, Let’s not talk about CPM. Like what is the result that you’re looking for? It’s usually customers. And I was like, what are you willing to in, in marketing, it’s called a custom, your acquisition costs, which is like, how much are you willing to pay for a customer?
And basically with the first customer, I was like, okay, this is your acquisition costs. Do you think we can deliver your five or six customers a month? Like yeah, of course, like with the pockets of gas, I’m like, let’s multiply that. We came up with the number at, that became the rate. And basically in doing that, we doubled our prices.
And so it was, an approach based more on the value of what we were bringing then the CPM. And that’s how we have continued to solve ads for Mixergy, and basically grew it from doing 50,000 a year to more than half a million a year last year. and that’s just me with my phone and email and that’s it.
And I think a lot of people don’t focus on the value, like should be focusing on the value they’re bringing instead of CPMs.
Daran Herrman: [00:22:40] And when you were talking about that, so you basically were saying, you know, the cost per lead type of thing, which I love. And as a business owner, that’s all you really care about is leads.
You, you know, the metrics are fancy and they’re cool, but really, you know, are you bringing me more customers? did you have to actually track that data? Is that something you track or you just make assumption out of that? Right.
Sachit Gupta: [00:23:01] So one of the things that learned from consulting is that. so I’ll share this story.
I was, when I was doing Facebook advertising for clients, I remember I would send them all these like monthly or weekly reports or something. And there was one time when I sent them the email and I was like PDF attached and I forgot to attach it. And I was like, do I email them? And I was like, I’m just so let’s just see what happens.
And I never got an email back saying, where’s the PDF. And I was like, they’re not even looking at it. Right. And more than that, learning that is when you’re successful. you don’t actually need to do that much stuff because like people, when it’s successful, no one cares. So as long as you’re delivering, like the way we did it as like the sponsors are cracking data on are they’re in, they have their own systems.
And when they’re working, like we didn’t do that much. Like, but yeah, when it starts stops working, then you just like go back to tracking, figured out if it’s a traffic problem or a middle of funnel conversion problem, then you optimize it.
Daran Herrman: [00:23:55] I think that’s completely correct. I think the only time I ever tried to talk about all the stats and all that is when I’m struggling.
Like if I’m not actually bringing the customers or something that I thought I would to a client, then I bring up all the pretty charts and this and that, you know, but, yeah, when it’s working, it’s it’s much easy,
Sachit Gupta: [00:24:11] much easier. No, there’s this fascinating book. it doesn’t have to be crazy at work by base camp, the base camp founders.
And one of the things they talk about is like, they tried setting all of these like revenue, projections, and goals and stuff. And like, they just kinda like did that away with this in their company. And I’m fascinated by that too, because I think there’s so many different ways in which you can build companies.
and I’m not saying they’re like the, this way is right or this way is wrong, but I think the act of just being in a position, and then like asking yourself these questions of like, what kind of company I want to build, what kind of growth do I want?
Daran Herrman: [00:24:47] Yeah, and then you could be four or five years later and then, and then it gets answered for you, which is not, not near as fun as planning your own destiny. I also think that could be tailored to somebody when you’re just a normal employee of your career is, you know, what, what do I actually want? What’s my five-year plan.
Not, you know, Oh, I got this job offer. I should I just take it?
Sachit Gupta: [00:25:07] I remember this week, I was talking with a friend of mine who was running a very. From the outside successful business. And he was just like telling me about his business. And I remember I was like, let’s do an experiment, close your eyes.
And he was, he didn’t even like, imagine like you’re in the middle. And then you basically have like these like strings coming from your, both your hands and your legs that are going out. And they’re like, Attached to like different parts of the business and your jaw is just completely clenched. And you’re like holding on for dear life because, you know, if you let go of one of these, the business is going to collapse.
And I was like, how does that, does that sound accurate? And he just starts laughing because he’s like, yep. That’s exactly what it is. And I think in a lot of times, like we create these like businesses that end up becoming these monsters Frankenstein monster. Is it like. We hate them. Right. And I’m one of my favorite books I just recently read is E-Myth revisited.
And I wish I had actually read that when I was starting out from, because it talks about like difference being a technician to like, like actually being a manager and a business. And I think a lot of people leaving me for a long time, didn’t make that leap. And we basically created these things that we are sort of like idealized versions of what we see others have not realizing that actually those people hate the businesses that they’re in.
Daran Herrman: [00:26:20] Yeah, it’s so interesting. So to go, let’s go back a little bit on the sponsorships. I think one thing that a lot of people would be interested in is your take on, you know, all right. So I’m not even my podcast, for example, I, you know, and I’m not as big into sponsorships. I get a lot of, other, benefits from running a pod podcast.
but like how would somebody, who’s got a smaller podcast that’s growing? how would they, cause I think a lot of people want sponsorships. So how would they, how would they get started? What’s some advice for them to, to get their first one or their fifth one or whatever.
Sachit Gupta: [00:26:53] Well, so, so what, my belief, not I’m honestly going back and forth on this.
I think if you have a podcast that isn’t getting that main downloads, I don’t actually think sponsorship is the best way to monetize because even if you can like take the CPMs and ends and blow them up and like sell on value, unless you can get a sponsor that has a very like, that is willing to pay a lot for a small audience.
Yeah, it’s just not as lucrative. And I think there’s other modes of. Monetization, which is doing products or courses or indirect forms or consulting, or now a lot of companies are looking at like subscription revenue with like some things like super cast and blood FM. I think those are much better ways of monetizing and by building a direct relationship with your audience versus sponsorships, where your audience becomes a product,
Daran Herrman: [00:27:41] I completely agree.
I also think there’s a huge benefit of just your, you know, the. The worth of, of your, your network growing. or if you want to be a subject matter expert in an area, very niche area, you, you have a large amount of time to kind of be able to be that, or at least be around the people who are subject matter experts in an area just to increase your own brand, right.
Your own personal brand. And to give a kind of note on that. One is, the day after I was on Javier Mercedes podcast, which you’ve been on as well. I had a client reach out to, book our services for Gabon to my marketing agency. And it was, it was a $2,500 a month. The deal. And it was the day after.
And I asked him like, Oh, how did you hear about us? And they’re like, Oh, we just, we heard Darren on the, on a podcast. I was like, Oh, you know, boom. Right. You know, so some things can happen. That’s completely outside of, if anything, I think. and I think momentum’s powerful too. Like, you know, just doing a lot of actions, pushes things forward.
So, I guess, yeah, so, all right, let’s go back to Vegas, the story, right? So your things are moving in a right direction. it sounds like you probably just keep getting more and more clients. What happens to you, you now to where you’re like, you now want to be in front of the mic as a, as opposed to behind the mic, you know, how did you make that transition?
How’s that transition going anywhere where you want to take it?
Sachit Gupta: [00:29:04] Yeah, it was more of a personal journey last year, but I realized like, as a kid, I was always more of the artist and creator and stopped doing it for a while and subconsciously in their career supporting other artists when I wanted to do the be doing that myself.
And then I think like whenever you discover a few or sort of like, you have to like either like, just ignore it or face it head on. And I was like, I’m gonna face this head on. And last October started decided to start a podcast and. It was really fun. it has been really fun. I think it’s like I was talking to a friend earlier, like, there’s this sort of like, Journey of now like improving as a creator because as Eric Glass says, and as like a gap speech, when you start out, like, especially if you have tastes, you’re not going to be that good.
You can’t write because you have to put in the reps in. So right now, for me, it’s, as we’ve published, 20 episodes had a bunch recorded, the cerebral eventually publish. and yeah, it’s, it’s just been this journey of getting better at that skill set.
Daran Herrman: [00:30:00] And I mentioned kind of in the intro that, I mean, you guys, like first 30 days, just a huge blitz, number one, entrepreneurship and number 25 in all podcasts.
So any advice for somebody who wants to do a blitz of how, I mean, how did you how’d that happen? Right.
Sachit Gupta: [00:30:18] Magic.
Daran Herrman: [00:30:20] I’m sure.
Sachit Gupta: [00:30:22] In some ways it was right, but I think, Oh, some people like the journey I had in podcasting is very atypical. So first of all, like not compare it to, because I spent basically the last, like five to 10 years, figuring out growth for podcasts.
I knew what to do with our show. And we basically leveraged like few things, which was. being on other shows, I was on Jim. I did an episode with James orchestra, but she ended up publishing in his feet and he gets like massive breach. So that was super helpful. combination of that in paid media, we figured out to like buying ads on like different publishers and mobile apps that direct to the podcast layer and really like understanding the iTunes algorithm.
I think it cares more about like the rate at which a podcast is growing and like actual numbers. So when you’re starting out a new show and you get like, Even like a few downloads, your rate of growth just through math is like velocity is way more than an existing show, which makes you go up the charts.
so just a combination of those three things, it was gonna work well. We had no idea how well it was going to work. Like I remember my grow team person messaging me being like, yeah, like you’re I think it was like Monday night and it had broken or maybe it was close to top one 15 off shore. I was like, what are you talking about?
He’s like, yeah, go look. And I was like, Oh, my God. He’s like, what are you going to do? I’m like, step on the gas. Let’s see how high up we can get. And we just started spending more on ads and yeah, it hit number 25 above Oprah and Trevor Noah and Sam. It was, it was insane.
Daran Herrman: [00:31:46] I also think that now it gives you kind of a power statement and I, I have a lot of people that can come to me to help them with their resumes.
Just, I just do it for fun with the help them. And I’m always like, you need some really great Pat, you know, what somebody going to remember you or your service or whatever. And, you know, to be able to say that that first 30 days, you know, you could kind of stop counting after that, right. Besides for sponsorship reasons.
But to have the, you know, number two 45 and all podcasts on the first 30 days of launch. Kind of gives people, they, they basically know that you knew what you’re talking about when you want to help somebody do their own podcast. Right?
Sachit Gupta: [00:32:24] Yeah, totally. And I think in some ways that’s a journey that has been for me is like once I had an, almost like created this expectation of like being a top podcaster and I was only like 10, 12 episodes in and that’s where, like I could sort of take a step back because.
Like I was saying, like, when you start off, you can be that good, right. Because you have to put in the rest now for me. And it was this sort of like realization that I got that attention maybe too soon. And like, I still have to go through that journey of being, not that good at interviewing and get better.
Like, I think one of my favorite things to do is like, look at like talking to tubers and look at like of, from newest to oldest in us and look at their force, like 10, 20, 30, 40 radios. They don’t have that many views. Even like maybe the case in asset probably does. Not because he’s Casey Neistat, but a lot of them don’t right.
Because it takes a title. It takes time to find your voice, find your angle, find like what, what is like your, your work that makes you different and separate to you. And so now, like I’m, I’m way more into that than the numbers side.
Daran Herrman: [00:33:28] Yeah. I mean, reps always are super helpful and I love the IRA glass quote.
And what I always take from that is, you know, we all know, especially if you’re a creator, you know, what you like, you know what good is. And even if you’re in a, you know, what great is, and it’s really hard to live up to that expectation. anything that you’ve learned now that you’re having own podcasts, that you might wished you would’ve known when you were.
You know, behind the scenes a little bit more and starting out with your clients.
Sachit Gupta: [00:33:56] I think one of the biggest things was I was sort of like had this expectation that I had to like find the angle and find my voice and then I would start podcasting. What I’ve now discovered is that. You don’t sit on a couch and wait.
And like suddenly there’s like a lightning bolt. And like, now you have your voice and then you can start it, you start doing it. And through the process of doing it is how you discover more, even more than discover, actually think it’s uncover. Like, I think a lot of us think it’s like this like journey of like discovering where you go out, like Christopher Columbus and find something outside.
I’m actually thinking sort of discover it’s uncovered where it’s like inside you and it’s been there all along and you have to remove all the stuff from like, like society’s put on you, but the only way you can do that is through action. It can’t be like you’re sitting on a couch and like you write affirmations.
And then there’s a lightning bolt that comes from the sky. And like, there’s like violence, paint playing, and boom, you have it all.
Daran Herrman: [00:34:54] Yeah, it’s really uncomfortable. It’s, it’s always uncomfortable, but you gotta deal with it. What happened for me is I wanted to start one for a while and then, you know, priorities is all over the place, busy, all this happening.
And then luckily, I think that when you vocalize what you kind of want a few times other people hear that and then, and then they start asking you questions. And then I was on a couple of podcasts and all of a sudden it’s like, all right, you know, like there was no lightning bolt, but basically everything I was listening to myself, it was pointing towards like, okay, you have all this equipment, you have all this stuff.
What else are you waiting for? Right. You know? And, I think we could make. A lot of excuses of what we’re waiting for. so, there, there was some questions I was going to have, about your own podcast too. which I don’t remember. So I’m going to have to try to remember those, but, What about a common myth, myth about running a podcast that is out there or of something that’s supposed to work or whatever, any of that’s kind of out there that you hear all the time, it kind of makes you cringe because it’s not what you see.
Sachit Gupta: [00:36:00] That’s a good question. I haven’t been asked that. I’m trying to think, Is there one you have in mind?
Daran Herrman: [00:36:07] I was actually just struggling because I couldn’t remember the question I was going to say. So I just, I literally, that was that we’ll edit this part, but they, I was just like struggled there for a minute.
You know how it goes?
Sachit Gupta: [00:36:18] I think, I think you should actually keep that part in because I do not have a common meant that like, I think people might assume, which is that when podcasters are going and like they know exactly what they’re going to ask and like, everything’s perfect. Right. And because we can edit stuff, like it’s a lot of what makes a podcast great happens in editing and post-production right.
And I think the moment just happened, like this exchange, like you forgot what you’re going to ask. And I was like, I was kind of blanking till I was like, I don’t know where to what the myth is. And maybe that’s the myth is like, people think that like what they know they’re going to say almost always when there’s actually a lot of times there’s editing happening.
That makes the story tighter and all these different things that you don’t see.
Daran Herrman: [00:37:02] Well, I’ll tell you that my, to go back to on the reps part to be better, my first four or five, six, maybe seven podcasts. I mean, I was editing myself out so much, just, you know, struggling get to the point, man, you know, like, and so the final form was pretty good, but like I was removing sentences of myself talking, I think it relates to the other question that I do have for you is how do you prepare for your podcasts?
Do you have any, rituals or certain ways that you do it notes, anything like that?
Sachit Gupta: [00:37:32] Yeah. So one of my favorite quotes is from Sally Hawkson, which is different, is better than better. So when I’m thinking of a podcast episode, I’m not trying to be better than other podcasts they’ve been on, but I’m trying to be completely different than other podcasts I’ve been on.
So. And, and, and like most things in life, I think for a great podcast episode, 80% of the work actually happens before you hit record. So when we start, I like asking guests two questions, which is one is if you’ve been on other podcasts, whether the topics that you’ve already discussed. And then the second is what are topics that you want to discuss that you haven’t been asked about?
And what I usually do is I take the first list. And throw it away. Cause I’m like, if they have done the same thing over and over, I don’t want to so about it because it’s going to be completely repetitive when I take the second list. And I start with that. The other thing I do is try and find people that I know in common that know them very well.
And then ask those people. What would you ask him? Because it takes a context of the depth of their relationship that already exists and gives me questions from that. And sometimes I’ll actually be like, I spoke to a friend of yours and don’t tell them who it is because now they’re like, wait, who the fuck did he talk to?
Right. So kind of like put someone on a different like, edge and be like, yeah, like I was talking to a person I was told to ask you this question. And so I really like, it’s like, it’s creating these like raw materials before that lead to a good interview. Right. I think, and there’s, there’s this sort of like, I think maybe like there’s an assumption, which is like that, like a conversation that seems very free flowing is free flowing.
When in actuality, there’s so much work that goes in and then you almost have to forget it and be in the moment that creates a Congress. there’s if you look at like comedians, right? Like standup sets, they practice for years testing jokes and all do find it. And they get to like that one hour Netflix special.
That seems so effortless.
Daran Herrman: [00:39:28] And that’s the hard part is you gotta be prepared, but you also don’t want it to be like reading off question after question. Right? You want it to be a conversation, but it, but it is it’s difficult. to me, I like to prep where I, I definitely want to know somebody’s background.
I have kind of a, a bunch of questions that I have that hopefully I never have to look at, but you know, you never know. So I think you kind of already answered this too, but do you have questions that you prep? I like a lot of them or is it usually just general knowledge of somebody?
Sachit Gupta: [00:40:00] I will prep questions once I’m like, when I’m doing the research and like the questions they give me, another thing I do is I listen to other podcasts they’ve been on because then like automatically, like if they are telling me the same story, my brain kind of like tunes it out.
Cause I’ve heard it because I’m always looking for like new stuff. based on all that I’ll prep questions. But really I got, what I try and do is like come to like what the opening question is going to be or the team, and then just go and go completely into the moment.
Daran Herrman: [00:40:25] I love it. What about getting, booking, new, new people to new guests, better guests, any tips or tricks on people trying to get guests to be on their show?
Sachit Gupta: [00:40:35] Yeah, I think it depends on what your goal is for me. It’s like, I’m looking for like stories that cross different themes. and in terms of tips, It’s interesting. Like one of the things I, people are understanding, like put yourself in the guest’s shoes, right? What are people looking for? You’re looking for an exposure to a new audience, their look, or they’re looking for like a different style of interview.
So I think if you can show guests that then really it’s as simple as like sending them an email and getting there, getting them interested.
Daran Herrman: [00:41:05] Yeah. And, yeah, I agree. And to me it’s been just being around, like being involved in some, working events or, you know, we just had Austin startups week this week.
And I didn’t talk about my podcasts at all, but you jump on with this big mic and all of a sudden they’re asking questions and you know, and they’re very interesting people. And, I th I think a lot of people enjoy the, the, the format of a podcast. So, you know, getting them, getting involved as a lot of fun, you mentioned a lot of books.
Do you have any kind of like rituals or anything that you do daily that way you can, that you can read? Or is there anything that you kind of do every single day? That’s kind of the same that that works for you?
Sachit Gupta: [00:41:43] I realized I’m not that disciplined to just like follow like rituals and stuff for, for reading for me.
I’ve tried to do like the read, like X number of pages and stuff everyday, like has never worked. And what I realized is just like, I just like reading. So I go to sports, like there’s times when I’ll read, like. Two books in like a weekend from an interested, I I’ve, I’ve, I’m trying to like, let go of that expectation to finish a book.
So like, if I don’t like a book, I’ll just throw it away. But yeah, beyond that, like normally rituals, I just, I kind of follow my curiosity and now I’m trying to build sort of like a scheduling calendar that lets me do that as much as
Daran Herrman: [00:42:18] possible. Yeah. It’s I think it’s awesome. I’ll actually, I’ll have all those books that you mentioned below too in the, in the, in the, on the website and as well as in the show notes, because I’ll, you mentioned a ton of great ones, which to me, what I love about nowadays is we have YouTube, so you can learn a lot of things and books are another fantastic way to just kind of expand your knowledge and.
And learn from other people. what about any, any crazy stories or favorite memories from working all of these big, these other shows or any of your clients or anything that you would that you can share? Right?
Sachit Gupta: [00:42:53] Yeah, I think it was, first of all, it was just like such an amazing experience working, with the people I work with and I learned a lot, Hmm, crazy experiences.
I think the biggest ones probably would be like working with Tim on his last two book launches and just being part of that and seeing what it takes to create. for me, especially working with Andrew because we’ve worked together in person when I started it was, it was really cool to see him in action podcasting in his office and like seeing how he prepared and like asking them questions.
more of the things I learned from him was how much, how secrets are like the trust that you have with the guests. Because if you don’t have that, you can’t really do a great interview. I remember like one time, because Mixergy is about like certain revenue numbers and all he had, he was going to interview someone who was like, I don’t know if your business is big enough for this.
And the guy showed him all this like financials. And like, what I learned from there is like, if you establish trust with someone as a brand, That like, it just changes the game for you. Right. So I can just learn a lot about like trust building and, and relationships from that
Daran Herrman: [00:43:53] and that, so you have a ton of testimonials, like on your website and stuff and I, you hearing and you talk all about the trust.
how do you even get a testimony? Like, is that just, you know, do you have any ways that, because I think a lot of people get worried about asking for somebody to talk about them. Right. You know, and he. Any thoughts there on the T cause I even saw like Andrew did like, I mean he had a great testimonial on you and, I don’t know any, any tips for people to be able to get that from the clients or from, from anyone
Sachit Gupta: [00:44:24] maybe it’s coming like easy and natural to, for me, it was always about delivering results and then setting the expectation of, Hey, If I can deliver, I would love to capture this.
And this is sort of like the framework I use. And would you be willing to do that? I think there was a certain point. I don’t do that anymore. Even before I worked with someone, I’ll almost framed it as a requirement that like, if we deliver, we want to capture that story. And if this is not something you’re comfortable with, that’s totally okay.
But like those aren’t the clients we want to work with.
Daran Herrman: [00:44:55] Yeah, I think that’s great. Creative asking kind of almost upfront because then it’s not such a weird ask later right now. I don’t think it’s a weird ass anyway, but I think a lot of people get uncomfortable asking for those. so you get podcasts, it sounds like it’s going great.
What’s what’s the future. What’s five years from now. Like what, what do you see? Where do you see yourself?
Sachit Gupta: [00:45:13] Yeah, the, the biggest thing for me is just like, I’ve really enjoyed the skill of interviewing and also know like. How much I have to learn. So it’s almost like becoming a student of the greats. Like always tell people I’m like study the greatest.
So I’ve been looking at like Johnny Carson and Graham Norton and Craig Ferguson, like the Kings of late night in like different areas and, and doing that, I think we’re in this like amazing transition where we’re sort of like creators are getting the, Linemen and the credit they deserve and with the internet that to build companies and audiences, and it’s just like this like creative revolution where the sort of gatekeepers have gone from like the movie studios to the platforms anyone can create now.
And yeah, just being more immersed in that world and creating value for people.
Daran Herrman: [00:46:03] But what about any advice you’d give your 16 year old self.
Sachit Gupta: [00:46:09] Those are the things that are like all the time for me. Cause I don’t want to change things because if you change things, then you wouldn’t end up where you are. The advice I would give is just stick with it because things will get better.
And also that you, you probably don’t have to be as serious about stuff as, as you think you do.
Daran Herrman: [00:46:29] I, I completely agree with that one. and so this is my last question in every podcast with this is, how would you like to be remembered?
Sachit Gupta: [00:46:40] I think as an artist who created stuff that helped change people’s perspectives.
Daran Herrman: [00:46:45] Oh, I think that’s a fantastic answer. well, it was a big pleasure to have you on the podcast today, man. I really appreciate it. A lot of value there and I mean right off the bat, so I really enjoyed it. Really appreciate it.
Sachit Gupta: [00:46:58] Awesome. Thank you so much for having having me in and, and thank you to both. Our friends are here and will be for introducing us
Daran Herrman: [00:47:05] for sure. All right, man.
Sachit Gupta: [00:47:06] Cheers. Cheers.