Focus on adding value to your listeners. If they get something out of your show, they are more likely to share it. This, like everything else, is a people business. Word of mouth is extremely powerful!
As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a very successful podcast”, I had the pleasure of interviewing David Pere.
David Pere joined the Marine Corps in August of 2008. Since that time, he has lived in or traveled to many unique places around the world, including a combat tour in Afghanistan. His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and a Combat Action Ribbon.
David got started in real estate investing in 2015 after reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. He house-hacked a duplex with the FHA loan and lived in it for a little while until getting married to his beautiful wife, Kimberly, and receiving orders to Hawaii. David and Kimberly have two children, Cody (10) and Jackson (2).
While stationed in Hawaii, David bought a 10-unit apartment in Missouri and was able to use bank-financing, seller-financing, and a home equity line of credit to purchase this property with less than 6% down (and great terms)!
Through these experiences, From Military to Millionaire was born, with the goal of teaching service members and veterans how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance! As a result, he has helped many of his readers increase their savings gap, purchase real estate, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom!
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you to this particular career path?
I joined the United States Marine Corps in August of 2008, the fall after graduating high school. Having grown up in Little Rock, Arkansas I wanted nothing more than to travel the world, have some great adventures, and feel like I was making a difference with my life. In the last 11.5 years I have lived in Japan, California, Missouri, Hawaii, and back to California, with a combat deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. I have traveled to many other countries, worked with our allies, and learned a ton working in the logistics field.
In 2015, while on recruiting duty in Missouri, a friend handed me an audio CD of Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which changed my life. I listened to it, downloaded the app Audible, and started listening to more books on real estate investing, finance, tax planning, and other investing strategies. Next thing I know I had bought my first real estate investment, then my next, and it just kept rolling. In 2018 I started blogging about what I was doing, and people loved it. Other military real estate investors came crawling out of the woodwork, and the Military Millionaire community began to grow. In December of 2018, The Military millionaire Podcast was officially launched, as a way to interview successful military real estate investors and entrepreneurs, and showcase their stories to the community.
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
There have been many interesting things that have happened since I started The Military Millionaire Podcast, but there are two that stand out above the rest. The first is that I was invited to become a general partner in a large syndication fund, in order to help them acquire multi-family real estate investments, such as apartments. The second is that I have been asked to help plan the first-ever military real estate investor conference, Veteran’s REI Live, at the end of May!
These two events have the potential to change the trajectory of my life going forward, and they both came out of relationships I formed with people who I had interviewed on my podcast!
Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaways you learned from that?
The biggest mistake I made when first starting was not understanding that my audience wanted to listen to my podcast guests. I would find myself talking entirely too much, and explaining things to the audience rather than saying “You mentioned X, Y, Z, could you please explain that to my audience real quickly in case they are unfamiliar with that acronym, etc.” You want to make your guest look like the rockstar, not you.
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
I started my podcast in December of 2018 and have recorded over 85 episodes. I air one every Friday, with the occasional “bonus episode” on a Wednesday.
What are the main takeaways, lessons or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?
The main takeaways I want my audience to get is “you can do it to”. My guests are service members, or veterans, who have built wealth through real estate investing entrepreneurship, and personal finance. The goal of my show is to help light the way to success for younger service members. With knowledge, discipline, and hard work, you can achieve financial freedom, and be able to exit the military without worrying about where your next paycheck will come from.
In your opinion what makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or your content?
The thing that makes my podcast binge-listenable is that every guest gives actionable advice to follow. The Military Millionaire Podcast showcases service members and veterans who have been able to build a business using the skills they acquired in the military, and are achieving financial freedom. We also release “bonus episodes” that feature celebrity entrepreneurs and real estate investors, or very successful investors, even if they didn’t serve in the military.
My podcast is unique because our audience is all low and middle-class employees. Service members do not get paid a ton, but they make up for that with planning, tenacity, and resourcefulness. If you can invest in real estate, or build a business as an active duty service member (as I have), anybody can do it!
What makes me special is that I am an active duty Marine. I have recorded content as early as 0300 before work, and as late as 2200 before bed. People resonate with this because they know I’m not sitting in a cushy office, and didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. I represent the everyday W2 employee who is working a job during the day and hustle in the evenings.
Doing something on a consistent basis is not easy. Podcasting every work-day, or even every week can be monotonous. What would you recommend to others about how to maintain discipline and consistency? What would you recommend to others about how to avoid burnout?
The best things you can master are batching, and time-blocking. Instead of lining up an interview here, an interview there, try to line up 2, 3, 4, or more podcasts in a row and record them all at once. This is called batching and it is extremely effective because you only have to setup/teardown once, instead of every time you record. Also, once you get hyped up and into “interview mode” it is great if you can keep knocking them out. I try to record the entire months’ episodes in one or two days as much as possible. Time-blocking just means blocking out a window on your calendar for recording podcasts and then sticking to it. The best way to do this is to use a tool like Calendly. I have recording time-blocks setup on Calendly, and my guests get to pick which date/time works for them based on what I opened in my schedule. Pro-tip, you can ask the screening/application questions in Calendly so that everything is automated
Being disciplined isn’t always easy, but you need to simply put it on your calendar, and then do it. Think of it as having the integrity to yourself. You wouldn’t break an important date with the significant other of your dreams…why would you break it with yourself?
Burn out definitely happens. As an active duty Marine, I have some pretty busy weeks, and I have found that in order to get everything done I’m working on the podcast and business I wake up at 0355 every day and spend two hours on it before my fulltime job, and then I work on it again in the evenings. To date, I have recorded shows as early as 0400, and as late as 2130, sometimes in the same day. I have struggled with the burnout before, and now I intentionally schedule a time to sit at the pool, get a massage, go hiking, get out of the office without my cell phone, and just decompress. You need to give yourself permission to take breaks and relax. This isn’t a lack of productivity, it is a necessity that will lead to increased production in the long term.
What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?
My biggest inspiration is the BiggerPockets podcast. I’m friends with the hosts, and they have given me a ton of advice while building my community and podcast. I also recommend my friends over at PodBlade Podcasting who edits all of my podcasts and have given me some invaluable coaching while building my brand.
Ok fantastic. Let’s now shift to the main questions of our discussion. Is there someone in the podcasting world who you think is a great model for how to run a really fantastic podcast?
I already mentioned them, but the BiggerPockets Podcast is the biggest real estate investing podcast in the world, and they are an excellent model for how to run a really fantastic podcast.
What are the ingredients that make that podcast so successful? If you could break that down into a blueprint, what would that blueprint look like?
Your podcast needs to add value to everybody who listens. It needs to be informational, educational, or entertaining. If you can combine these components even better.
The blueprint I would give is very simple. Use your networking ability to get incredible guests on your show. Make your guests out to be rockstars on your podcast, and ask great questions to bring extremely great insight to your guests. Make the podcast very easy for your guests to share with their audience. Make them want to share it by providing quotes, audiograms, tweetable, etc. that make them look and sounds incredible. The bigger the sphere of influence your guests have, and the more they share, the more of their audience will begin to listen to your show.
Finally, focus on adding value to your listeners. If they get something out of your show, they are more likely to share it. This, like everything else, is a people business. Word of mouth is extremely powerful!
You are a very successful podcaster yourself. Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast? (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)
- You need to be authentic. Be you, and don’t try to be anybody else. It is okay if you aren’t a subject matter expert, as long as you are transparent about it, and position yourself as the person who started a podcast to learn from the experts. If you are the expert, be authentic, and share the good (and bad) things that you’ve experienced.
- Talk less, listen more. The goal is to make your guests look like rockstars, not yourself. If you focus on making yourself look good, your show will not take off.
- Find your niche. Don’t start “The business podcast” unless you are THE business expert. Instead, dive down into a smaller niche, like “The bar managers podcast”. If you are just starting out, you need to focus on a smaller niche to gain traction. You can always broaden your scope later on.
- Network with other podcasters and experts in your field. Do podcast interview swaps, and go on other podcasts as well. This will get you more exposure, and help bring all of the podcast hosts in your space more listeners. A rising tide raises all ships, so you will benefit from this too.
- Listen to your audience. Poll your audience, and ask what they would like to see more of, or how you can improve. Listen to what your audience likes, and dislikes. Bring people on your show out of the audience, and build a community around your show. For example, I call the people in my show Military Millionaires, and I start each show with “What’s up Military Millionaires!”
Can you share some insight from your experience about the best ways to: 1) book great guests; 2) increase listeners; 3) produce it in a professional way; 4) encourage engagement; and 5) the best way to monetize it? (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)
- Network with rockstars in your industry, and then ask them “Who do you know that would make a great guest on my podcast”. When you have experts recommending other experts, you get excellent guests. *Pro tip — ask them to send an introduction email to the person they recommended, this ads credibility, and boosts your chances of them agreeing to be on the show. I have made several valuable connections through these introductory emails, and some of my biggest podcast guests have come from this.
- Focus on adding value to your audience, make it shareable, and interact with your fans to create “Superfans” as Pat Flynn calls them in his book. My most popular podcast to date is one that resonated with my fans, and answered one of their problems “What if I don’t have the money to start investing in real estate?” This episode has been shared a lot!
- Audio is the most important piece of the puzzle. Record separate audio tracks for each guest so you can adjust the volume and background noise in each track. Ensure your guest has fast internet and is preferably connected via hardline, not wifi. Have them shut all other applications, windows, and browsers down on their computer, and turn off streaming services where they are recording. Decent lighting and organized backdrop are critical if you are recording the video too. Finally, hire somebody to clean up your audio, and edit your shows to ensure they are clean, and remove unnecessary pauses, and pet words such as “um” “ah” or “so”.
- Share your podcast episodes everywhere your audience might be. Also, be active in forums, Facebook groups, and other areas where your target audience hangs out. Focus on adding value and building relationships. Over time, these people will befriend you, check out your podcast, and share it with others, because you focused on the people, more than just the production.
- My best monetization strategies so far have been to refer people in my audience to people that can help them solve a problem. I have a referral setup with my friend who sells turnkey real estate investments. If somebody from my podcast buys a home through them, I receive a small commission. This sponsor has singlehandedly paid for all of my podcasting expenses for the last two years. I have other referral programs (and sponsors) that have paid well too. These are great because you have no downside, but the upside for you, and the sponsor, are huge. I prefer these relationships to a set dollar amount for placing an advertisement on my show. You can also upload podcasts to YouTube and make a decent amount through their ad revenue if your show gains enough traction.
For someone looking to start their own podcast, which equipment would you recommend that they start with?
- I have an entire page of recommended equipment, but for somebody just starting out I would say a Blue Yeti microphone, and Logitech webcam is sufficient for starting out. I utilize Zoom for recording video calls, and you will need to pay in order to record these shows (if they go over 40-minutes). I also like Zencastr for audio-only interviews, as you’ll get better slightly audio quality than with Zoom. You will also need a nice pair of headphones, I recommend the Sony MDR-7506 which is industry standard, and very affordable.
- When you want to get more advanced I am currently using a Shure SM7B microphone with a Focusrite 2i2 audio interface. This setup works well for me, but when I begin doing more in-person interviews I will buy a more expensive audio recording setup like the Rodecaster pro.
Ok. We are almost done. 🙂 Because of your position and work, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
- The movement I am working on is the #MilitaryMillionaire movement. My community is aimed at helping service members learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. By helping service members learn how to build wealth we are helping them prepare for a smooth transition out of the military and build a purpose for themselves outside of the military. The byproduct of giving service members a sense of purpose outside of the military, and a strong financial background, is that it will dramatically cut down on the veteran suicide rate. Veterans struggle with losing their identity, and the feeling that they have a sense of purpose after their service ends, and if we can help them avoid this, we will save lives.
How can our readers follow you online?
home page: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/
Thank you so much for sharing your time and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.
Thank you for the opportunity, and I would love to hear how I can best add value to you and your network right now!