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The Key to Creating Successful Content with John Lee Dumas

April 24, 2023
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Are you considering starting a podcast or struggling to grow your existing show?

In this episode of The Recognized Authority, Alastair McDermott interviews podcasting legend John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire. They discuss the essential factors for standing out in the saturated content landscape and the importance of delivering real value to your audience.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should ONLY create a podcast if you can provide the number one solution to a real problem
  • How to define a real problem and the pain points your podcast should address
  • Advice for people in seemingly “boring” industries
  • Where to start with content creation in today’s competitive world
  • Common mistakes podcasters make and how to avoid them

Don’t miss this insightful episode filled with practical advice and actionable tips to help you create a successful podcast that stands out from the crowd. If you’re ready to level up your content game and provide real value to your audience, this video is for you!

Show Notes

Guest Bio

John Lee Dumas is the founder & host of Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews inspiring entrepreneurs to help YOU along your entrepreneurial journey! He is also the author of The Common Path to Uncommon Success, your 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!


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Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, John Lee Dumas


John Lee Dumas  00:00

Listen, the reality is this: love me or hate me, there’s no money in the middle. Be great or be terrible because there’s no money in the middle. Either go all the way on something and be the best or just don’t do it at all because nobody wants average, nobody wants to vanilla. Nobody wants plain. They want the best solution to their real problem.


Voiceover  00:20

Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.


Alastair McDermott  00:32

So this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with John Lee Dumas. And John Lee Dumas is a really well known podcasting expert. He hosts an award winning podcast called “Entrepreneurs on Fire”, which has nearly 4000 episodes to date, he releases an episode every single day, and has done since September 2012. Through his podcast, he has interviewed 1000s of entrepreneurs, he runs a very successful business. And he shares the details of his monthly income in a very transparent way on his website. He’s a super busy guy. So unfortunately, I only had a few minutes to chat with him today.


Alastair McDermott  01:11

A lot of people who are listening to this show feel like why should I add my voice and create more noise when there’s just this flood of content? And particularly with AI and Chat GPT and making it so easy for people to write blog posts and, and everything, why should the person who’s listening to this actually add their voice to that?


John Lee Dumas  01:31

The answer is you should not unless you can answer this question in factual honesty, which is, are you going to create a podcast that delivers the number one solution to a real problem in this world? If the answer is yes to that question, your podcast will succeed. If you’re going to create a podcast that interviews entrepreneurs, about their story, you will fail because you’re right, the world does not need another one of those shows. But what it does need is amazing solutions to real problems. And if you can create a podcast, that’s the number one solution to a real problem in this world, your podcast will win. If you don’t, it will fail. So don’t even start.


Alastair McDermott  02:15

How do you define that? How do you define something as being a real problem? Like what does that mean to you?


John Lee Dumas  02:21

It has to be a real pain point, a real obstacle, a real challenge that humans are facing that they will pull out their wallet and pay for a solution to. That they will hunt to the ends of the earth to find solutions to that problem. For instance, if your loved one has Lyme disease, you will hunt for the number one solution to that problem of Lyme disease, you will find that number one solution, if it takes you to the ends of the earth. That’s what your content has to provide for other people. Real solutions for real problems.


Alastair McDermott  02:59

And do you have any advice for anybody who feels like well, the thing that I’m doing it like I’m an accountant, and I love doing what I’m doing. But I don’t know if I can compare that to you know, helping cure somebody’s loved one who have a serious disease? For people who feel like they’re in a boring industry? Or do you have any advice for people coming from that perspective?


John Lee Dumas  03:20

Yeah. Is it boring when you save your clients’ life changing money? Of course not. That’s what accountants do. So if you can find an unbelievably minut niche in the accounting world, that you can become the absolute best solution to the number one authority or influencer or expert on that topic, you will win just on that one thing alone. So find something that is a void in your current marketplace, a void in your field of area of expertise, that is not being solved at the highest level, and solve it at the highest level. And you’ll win.


Alastair McDermott  03:59

For somebody who is at that starting point. And they’re thinking about starting something like a podcast, where you started, I don’t know, it was a 2012 or so things were very different back then, for somebody who’s starting now in 2023, or later, where where do you where would you advise that people start? Like, should they start out with a podcast? Should they be doing video? What kind of advice would you have around that?


John Lee Dumas  04:23

They just start out with a podcast. If they want to do a video podcast, power to them, it’s got to be their decision on what kind of content they want to create. Videos can be great because it can be repurposed on the all the social media channels. Audio has a lot more limitations. I personally prefer it just because I’m doing a daily show. So the effort it takes to do audio only is a lot less and allows me to now have produced 3800 episodes over the past 10 and a half years. That would not have been the case had I done video. So figure out what works for you and go forth and do it. But again, rule number one: are you the number one solution to a real problem?


Alastair McDermott  05:03

Might be a little bit further down the line. Maybe they’ve started, they’ve started doing, maybe they’ve got a podcast, and they’ve got, they’ve been doing it for six months or a year, but they feel like it’s plateauing rather than growing. What kind of advice would you have for somebody who’s-who’s in that scenario?


John Lee Dumas  05:16

If you’re in that scenario, you are really not the number one solution to a real problem. You can not look in the mirror and say, I am providing the best solution to this real world problem. You just can’t say it. That’s why your shows plateauing. That’s why you’re not gaining more listeners. That’s why you’re not having the type of success that you want. You are likely and I say this 99% of the time, a pale weak imitation of other shows in your genre, in your niche that are just better than yours, that are doing better than you, better content, better solutions to bigger problems, that’s why you’re plateauing. So either stop doing it because you’re wasting your time, or reassess and say how can I sit back, identify a real problem in my area of expertise that I can provide the number one solution to. And until then, you’re going to struggle.


Alastair McDermott  06:10

What kind of mistakes do people make when they’re in this scenario? What like, what mistakes do you when you were talking to people about this what mistakes are they making?


John Lee Dumas  06:18

They’re finding other people that are successful, maybe similar podcasts, maybe just the most successful podcasts that are out there, they’re going to the best shows, and they’re saying, this is what they’re doing, right? I’m going to copy what they’re doing. And so they are a pale, weak imitation of other shows and nobody wants that people want the real, true, authentic, genuine version of you, specifically, of you delivering the number one solution to a real problem in this world. So until you’re going to do that, you’re just not utilizing your time wisely.


Alastair McDermott  06:53

The things that we choose to spend our time on, we have a limited focus a limited lifetime. So I think it’s really important that we don’t go down the rabbit hole and…


John Lee Dumas  07:02

Listen, the reality is this: love me, or hate me, there’s no money in the middle. Be great or be terrible, because there’s no money in the middle. Either go all the way on something and be the best, or just don’t do it at all. Because nobody wants average, nobody wants to vanilla, nobody wants plain. They want the best solution to their real problem. You know, if you are a veterinarian in a town of 2000 people, and you’re the only vet in town, you can be okay at your job, because you’re the only show in town. But that’s not what we’re doing here. We’re not building brick and mortar businesses, we’re building an online presence. And if you want to build an online presence is meaningful. You have to ascribe to what I’ve been chatting about all episode.


Alastair McDermott  07:48

What is the biggest mistake that you’ve made yourself, when it comes to content creation?


John Lee Dumas  07:52

Just not starting earlier, like I waited for nine months before I actually launched everything that I did. And those nine months, were a critical nine months, like everybody just waits because they wanted to be better and more perfect. And I wanted all those things as well. So I waited and I dallied, and I, you know, hid behind the word, I’m trying to make it perfect, which is just another word for, you know, I’m a coward. And you can’t be scared. You’ve got to believe that you have the number one solution to a real problem in this world. And get out there and scream it from the rooftops until people finally start listening. And by the way, if you really do have the number one solution to a real problem that matters in this world, people will find you. They will beat a path to your doorstep.


Alastair McDermott  08:34

There’s kind of a tension between two things that you’ve talked about here. One, which is launching and just starting, and then the other is having the number one solution. It, it… I think that what you talked about there is something a lot of people will will feel, you know, the fear of launching because it’s not perfect. So how do you kind of fi… How do you resolve that tension of, of not being ready, versus having the number one solution?


John Lee Dumas  09:02

Because you’ve got to sit down as the first step and identify the number one solution to a real problem. And then you just get it out there and you start talking about it and you don’t worry about the, the audio quality or the production value or the intro or the outro. You just get it out to the world because guess what, nobody’s gonna listen, nobody’s gonna care because they have no idea who you are. They have no idea you’re even producing content, you’re, you’re releasing your content to a black hole. So when people are terrified, they’re like, I can’t launch my podcast until it’s perfect, because all the people that are listening, and I’m like, I’ve got news for you. Nobody’s listening. Nobody’s going to listen to your show, until it’s good enough for people to listen to. So, identify the number one solution to a real problem, and then get it out into the world as fast as possible.


Alastair McDermott  09:52

Final question for you. What is the number one tip that you would give to somebody who wants to build their authority?


John Lee Dumas  09:59

Do not become a person of success. Like people try to chase success, they try to become a successful person. You need to become a person of value. That’s an Albert Einstein quotes. When I understood what that quote meant, it changed everything. I stopped chasing success, and I just started providing value. So if you can say, hey, I’m going to provide value to this world, that again, if you’ve nailed it, and it’s the actual number one solution to a real problem, people will find you. That value will turn into a business that you can turn into a revenue generating machine.


John Lee Dumas  10:37

Hey, this is John Lee Dumas of entrepreneurs on fire and you’re listening to The Recognized Authority.

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