When Jen Hemphill started a personal finance business in 2015, her mentors told her she needed to create content. This piece of advice inspired a bit of a wild goose chase — Jen experimented with blog posts and YouTube videos — but ultimately found a medium she grew passionate about: podcasting.
That same year, Jen launched the Her Money Matters podcast as a way to communicate with potential clients about her personal finance literacy services. But the show was more than a marketing vehicle for Jen, and she decided early on that she wanted to go all in on the project.
“Before I made the commitment, because I needed to be consistent, [I knew] I needed to have some help,” Jen says on an episode of Between 2 Mics. “Even at the very beginning, I decided ‘I’m going to find myself an editor,’ because I wanted to commit to this … I committed to outsourcing that aspect and that has served me well.”
Jen’s decision to outsource aspects of the podcast production process from the show’s early days certainly set her up for a successful podcasting career — so much so that she is now working on her third podcast. After focusing on Her Money Matters for a few years, Jen launched the Su Dinero Importa Podcast, which was geared toward Latinas and recorded primarily in Spanish. In 2019, she merged the two shows into Her Dinero Matters. This iteration combines Jen’s passion for helping women understand their “money stories” with her personal mission to serve Latinx communities with useful information about personal finance.
Keep scrolling for Jen’s advice on establishing your podcasting expertise, as well as being smart with your finances as a podcaster.
1. Don’t be afraid to niche down
Jen calls the decision to combine Her Money Matters and Su Dinero Importa into the Her Money Matters podcast a “painful” one, but more than a year after making it, she also knows it was the best choice for her audiences.
“I was making a shift as to the direction of what I wanted to do with my business,” she says. “And it’s really been a great decision. Opportunities that I didn’t know about opened up to me just because I narrowed down.”
Jen is open about the fact that her ego took a bit of a hit when her download metrics decreased after the initial decision to niche down, but Her Dinero Matters gives her the chance to share her expertise with Latinas, who she firmly believes need the information most.
2. Consider where your show can have the most impact
At first, Jen was concerned that the loyal listeners from Her Money Matters would be resistant to following her to Her Dinero Matters. After all, she’d racked up quite a fan base thanks to a shoutout from ultra-popular pod My Favorite Murder!
In the end, though, Jen’s interest in prioritizing Latina listeners in need of her personal finance advice won out over her worries about downloads. At a moment when diversity and inclusion were taking a long overdue spotlight, she decided it was time to take a new approach and focus on a mission that fired her up.
“I had to get really strategic,” she says. “Who do I want to serve?”
Jen’s new strategy led her to Her Dinero Matters, which she says mirrors conversations she has with her friends about money IRL. The show features a broad range of stories about financial experiences, as well as bilingual elements.
3. Get creative with your advertising model
Jen is a personal finance pro, so she has plenty to say about the finances of podcasting. She encourages other podcasters to get creative with revenue streams beyond advertising — and to question the metrics by which ad partners judge shows. While she’s happy to offer download stats to prospective advertisers, she doesn’t stop there.
“I go by the value that I bring,” Jen says. “I share with them, ‘This is my community. This is the listenership and the value that I bring.’”
Feeling insecure about your download numbers as you negotiate an advertising deal? Consider Jen’s strategy! Your community may bring its own value to the table, especially if you serve a specific niche.
4. Face your finances directly
Speaking of finances, Jen encourages podcasters to tackle their numbers head-on. As tempting as it can be to avoid the bottom line, she says it’s imperative to look at the finances of your podcast and/or business ASAP.
“It’s always about getting clarity as to where you’re at currently and where you want to go,” Jen says. “We are scared to get that clarity because we don’t want to see the reality of our finances.”
There’s no time like the present to take stock of what it’s costing to run your podcast. Even if that bottom line is upsetting, you’ll be able to move forward with knowledge that can inform smarter decisions in the future. The more we talk about money as an industry, the less scary it will be.
For more of Jen’s thoughts on how to find your niche and play it smart financially as a podcaster, listen to this episode of Between 2 Mics. Be sure to subscribe to get future episodes directly in your preferred podcast player.
Rockwell Felder is a CPA, entrepreneur, and co-founder of SquadCast. He and his team are on a mission to amplify collaboration, seeking to empower creatives to engage in meaningful conversations without barriers.