Podcast Success is not accidental.

It happens through deliberate strategy and dedicated hard work.

Danny “Sunshine” Bauer is a former educator and administrator turned life and leadership coach. His podcast is downloaded more than 95% of all podcasts and he enjoys helping individuals launch and grow podcasts in a “sweat” environment.

He is the founder of Better Leaders Better Schools and facilitates weekly Masterminds with school leaders from around the globe. A teacher at heart, he also coaches small business owners in running profitable ventures clearly aligned to vision, mission, and values.

On this episode of Podcastification, Danny and I chat about the success he’s experienced with his podcast and how YOU can work toward the same kind of results he has experienced.




  • [1:12] Amazing success for Danny’s education focused podcast
  • [5:45] The tactics Danny followed to launch his podcast effectively
  • [8:05] Relational skills aid in the promotion of any podcast, no matter the niche
  • [10:00] How a mastermind played a part in Danny’s podcast success
  • [20:23] What is the best way to find your specific audience?
  • [23:36] The power of providing free stuff that adds tremendous value to users
  • [26:42] Getting past the “hard work” hurdle (none of this is easy)
  • [30:11] How to decide what to work on that will provide tremendous value
  • [34:06] How Danny delivers his free resources (the tech behind it)

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Your chances of podcast success just got better

Every podcaster has a different idea of what “success” means for them. But one thing is for certain – we all need the same things in the end…

  • More interested listeners
  • The ability to find those people
  • The strategies that enable us to truly be helpful and value-givers

When somebody comes along who has done all those things for their own podcast – I’m all ears. I want to learn from those who have been down the path of success ahead of me.

Danny Bauer is an educator. He’s served as a teacher as a vice principal and as a principal. TThat’s the main niche his podcast serves. But he has had amazing success in terms of downloads and in terms of the kind of response he’s gotten from his audience.

He’s the kind of guy who’s been there, done that, and is ready to help you succeed too.

You’ll hear him explain some of those things and how they came about on this episode. But what I want you to pay attention especially to is Danny’s focus on generosity. He’s got some great lessons that serve all of us well – no matter our niche or audience.

When you invest in yourself, you invest in your future

When Danny first got his podcast rolling, he knew he couldn’t do it alone. So he signed up for John Lee Dumas’ “Podcaster’s Paradise” and learned how to podcast. But he went even further because he wanted to know how to make the business side of what he was doing thrive as well.

The first step he took was to surround himself with people who were down the road a bit further than him.

In particular, he met a guy named Aaron Walker and joined his private Facebook group. It was a low level commitment at first, but Aaron’s persistence and concern for Danny made an impact, so when he invited Danny to join one of his mastermind groups, he said, “Okay, I’m gonna give this a shot. If I don’t get the value or my life doesn’t change like he’s promising, then I could always leave.”

One of the important things Danny stresses in this conversation is that if you really invest in yourself, you invest in your future and your success.

Sure – it’s an expense, but it’s an expense in yourself, in your own education and betterment. There’s so much power in being able to leverage everybody’s experiences, to be held accountable for what you say you’re going to do, and to not work in isolation.

The number one enemy of excellence is isolation (from “The Enemies of Excellence”). When we try to do things on our own, we’re almost destined to fail.

Danny’s advice – and it’s worth its weight in gold – is that you’re going to be so much more successful when you get a group of people around you who are cheering you on and are FOR your success. But they can’t just be “Yes men,” they also need to care enough to call you on your junk when you’re not bringing your A-game.

How could all of this apply to your podcast efforts? How about a podcasting mastermind?

It could be a group of people who come together to up their podcast game – to hear what each other is doing and benefit from it, to get great ideas, to encourage each other, even to promote each other’s shows.

If you’re interested in that kind of thing – connect with me and we’ll see what we can work out. Yes, it would cost something, but every investment in yourself does. Don’t let the dollar signs scare you – invest in yourself.

THE Podcast Success Formula: Find a need and fill it

Most of us podcast about things we are personally interested in. So we know a little bit about the people who are like us – those who are most interested in the topic as well.

That’s the place we begin when trying to figure out how to make our podcast the most successful. In Danny’s words, “Find a need and fill it.”

You have to find a place where there’s a real a real need in terms of your subject matter – and then provide the solution through your podcast, whether that’s you as the expert sharing one on one, or if you’re going to interview and bring people on who your audience can learn from.

Either way – you’re making the effort to meet the very real need you’ve noticed exists.

But people won’t subscribe to your podcast just because you’re making the attempt to meet their needs – you need to TRULY meet the need, and that means you’ll have to put in the work required to understand the need, discover the right and best solution, and then put it into a format your audience can benefit from.

That may be a free PDF or ebook, it may be bonus audio content for your podcast. It may be a video course you decide to create.

Whatever it is – put in the work to make it great. Truly make it unbelievably helpful and you’ll build goodwill and loyalty in your audience like you never imagined possible.

Danny explains how he did this by giving away free stuff.

His challenge to all of us is to think, “What are some creative ways that I could do something that adds tremendous value, better than anything that’s out there?”

That’s the kind of approach Gary Vaynerchuk takes. In fact, he says that his free stuff is better than everyone else’s paid stuff – and he’s right.

When Danny first heard Gary V. say that, he was inspired and determined to create his own unbelievable content. He started out with a digital summit, where many experts were brought together to deliver incredible value – and the entire event was entirely free.

Of course, he had paid versions that allowed users to download the sessions and keep them for themselves, but he truly gave away all of the content for free – and the response was overwhelming (in a good way).

But keep this in mind – it’s HARD WORK to provide content with that kind of value. You have to be committed to it and truly deliver.

You can’t let fear, laziness, insecurity, or anything else get in your way.

Podcasting success doesn’t come to those who are trying to get by with as little as they can. It comes to those who earn it, who work for it, and who put in the time to convince their audience that they do truly care about them and want to deliver value to them.

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How to get past the “hard work hurdle”

It’s a wonderful thing to dream up some incredible thing you’re going to provide to your audience. But then comes the reality: you’ve got to make the thing.

You see the resource in your mind, you know what it could look like and what should go into it – then you realize, “Oh, my gosh, this is going to take me weeks or months of hard, diligent work to create this thing!”

A lot of people quit right there. They just say, “Oh, that’s too much. I can’t do that.”

How do you get past the hurdle of doing the hard work it takes to produce that great resource?

First, you have to accept reality: none of this is easy.

That was a wake up call Danny had at one point in his podcasting and coaching career. Up to that point he had this sense that it would be easy. He had a confidence and swagger that he was going to be successful at what he did.

But he discovered, it’s not easy. He discovered that whatever that thing is he wanted to create, even if it took four months to build, that’s how long it was going to take – and that it was worth it.

Because in the end, it’s something he would be proud of. It’s something users would feel good telling their friends about.

THAT is the benefit of putting in the work to put out something that’s of such massive value. People tell their friends and they tell their family and they share it on social media.

All because you put in the four months it took to make it so great.

But we also need to be careful: If you’re putting in four months because you’re scared, that’s another problem.

So there’s this tension between speed of implementation and then making sure it’s a minimum viable product that it’s going to deliver value to whoever uses it.

Success comes through generosity: Make sure whatever you’re doing is for the good of other people

We all want our podcasts to be successful – and the problem is that our concept of success usually involves other people giving to us through subscriptions, downloads, purchases – whatever.

But Danny Bauer points out that one of the most important mindset shifts he’s had when it comes to achieving success is that it happens more from him giving than it does through him recieving.

Danny wakes every morning with a desire to have one thought on his mind, “What’s one way I could help somebody today without expecting any payback?”

When it comes to podcasting, he reviews other people’s podcasts, he promotes them on social media, he finds ways he can draw attention to the great work others are doing.

He tells about one time when his friend, Jessica released a new book and he did everything he could to help her promote it. He wasn’t getting any kickbacks, no money for his efforts. But he built a relationship tha that has served both he and his friend for a long time.

He’s also done free book contest giveaway on Twitter – to massive engagement. Danny’s belief is that any podcaster can do similar things for others.

Find a podcast you love and begin promoting it on social media, say, “Hey, this show’s awesome!” Share quotes from it. Make graphics for it to draw attention to your promotion.

People will see. Good will come of it.

It is better to give than to receive that is for sure. Your success as a podcaster may depend on it.

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