How to start a Podcast (20+ Best Podcasts Hacks 2019)

How to start a Podcast

Tips for How to Starting Your First Podcast as a Beginner

Podcasts — either audio or video files that you publish on the Internet for people to download and listen to or view — to your blog, you reach  a  wider  audience  and  reach  your  audience  in  different  locations.

People might listen to you while they drive or commute, or they might watch your videos on their televisions, iPods, smartphones, or other devices.

 

The production process for a podcast is simpleYou go out into the world, record a video or some audio, edit it on your computer, and then upload the files to your blog for release onto the Internet. Your blog’s readers then download the files, and they can still leave comments and interact with your blog in the usual way. Intrigued?

 

Podcasts are attracting a whole new audience to the blogosphere. With the creation of improved software and mobile devices that can consume these kinds of media, you might want to seriously consider adding podcasting to your blog. This blog explains the 50 Pro Tips For Starting Your First Podcast as a Beginner and How to start a Best Podcast.

 

Deciding to Podcast 

Deciding to Podcast

Podcasts come in all flavors. You can find personal podcasts, technical podcasts, sports reports, music samples, recorded social gatherings, previously recorded radio broadcasts, book reviews, and audio books. If you can think of a topic, you can probably find a podcast for it. 

 

Simply Am is a blog about one man’s journey to live life as his authentic self as well as a source of tips and tools for others hoping to do the same. Blogs and podcasts can look very similar;

 

main difference is that a podcast entry contains a media file that the consumer can download, either by directly accessing the website or by subscribing to a syndicated blog feed (also known as the RSS feed).

 

Many bloggers who want to podcast don’t because of the learning curve to build and maintain a podcast. As wonderful as podcasts can be, writing, recording, uploading, hosting, and promoting one requires a higher level of technical proficiency than written blog posts do.

 

However, you may find figuring out how to work podcasts worth it if you think they can help grow your audience, enhance your blog content, or improve and expand your blogging skills.

 

 Reaching a wider audience

Podcasting can help you reach a different audience. Many people like to read and enjoy taking in a well-written blog post. However, some blog readers enjoy listening to what you have to say as an audio recording.

 

Other blog followers like to watch, rather than read, your blog post — especially if you have a compelling voice or are more photogenic than average.

 

Also, some of the things that you want to talk about on your blog might work better as an audio recording than a text post, such as interviews, soundscapes, or special events.

 

And the video is even more powerful: You can show off much more of your personality than you can by using just a textbook, and you can demonstrate things that you might find difficult or impossible to convey with just words.

 

Choosing between audio and video

Best Podcasts 2018

If you’re ready to take the plunge into producing a podcast, you need to decide what format you want to use. Both audio and video require specialized skills to produce. Here are a few tips that can help you decide what type of podcast to use:

 

Audio

Easier to produce than video because of a larger availability of open source software. Most software for professional video editing is expensive. Easier and generally quicker to edit than video More portable than video.

 

Fewer portable devices are designed to deal with video than with audio Less of a space hog than video, making audio files less expensive than video files to store on a web host

 

 Video

More compelling. The visual and auditory components combined are more likely to keep a viewer from becoming distracted You can make the video shorter than audio.

 

The audience’s likely to feel satisfied with a 2–4-minute video podcast, whereas they might want a much longer audio podcast Gives you more visual elements to work with — both when you’re designing your blog and in individual entries Has more related sites online where you can upload and share files?

 

Requires the viewer’s sole attention, whereas people can listen to audio podcasts while completing other tasks.

 

You can listen to an audio podcast while driving to work, for example, Video and audio files can get very large. When you upload them to your web server, you fill up your available disk space more quickly than you do if you upload only text and photos. Also, distributing audio and video requires more bandwidth.

 

 Planning Your Podcast

Best Podcasts

To create a podcast, you first need the desire to make it the best experience for the listeners that you can. If you aren’t having fun, it shows in the final result. Remember, even if you find your very first podcast a little frustrating, it gets easier.

 

Here are a few key ingredients that you need for a good podcast: Planning what you’ll say: You can make a single podcast about anything, so have a clearly defined topic before you start.

 

Some podcasters write a script for every podcast they record. Although you may find that a script is an overkill for you, jotting down a few notes or creating an outline to follow can help you streamline the creation process. You can find a list to help you brainstorm topics and the flow of your podcast later in this section.

 

 Finding your voice

 Finding your voice

You need to establish the tone of the piece before you go forward. How will the format of your overall podcast determine how you shoot or record it? Do you want to use some kind of traditional show format, or do you want to improvise the entire program each time?

 

Taking these kinds of questions into account when you’re planning your first podcast can help you make your program a success.

 

Timing

time

Technically speaking, you can use as much or as little time as you want in your podcast. You may find, however, that you get a better end product when you give yourself limits, rather than chattering on about your favorite color or a funny thing your cat did when you really should be getting to the point of your recording session.

 

Think about how much time you can reasonably expect your audience to give you, and target that length for your podcasts. In general, podcasts range from a few minutes to an hour.

 

Also, make sure that you have enough time to record the entire podcast in the same location so that you don’t have awkward changes in the background noise, which can distract your listener or viewer.

 

Recording conditions

When you want to record anything, you need to take into account environmental considerations before you hit the Record button. Is the environment you’re in quiet enough? Background noise from fans or computers may annoy the listeners! For video, do you have sufficient lighting to produce watchable video?

 

Try to eliminate distractions, such as phones ringing or people walking by. And if you can, do some test recording that you can listen to or watch so that you know what the quality of the final product will be before you record your entire podcast.

 

Blogging in writing is relatively easy in comparison to recording a podcast, and you can also more easily hide your inexperience in a text blog because you can rewrite and edit before posting. Although you can edit audio and video, removing stuttered speech or inappropriate facial expressions is harder than revising text in a blog post.

 

The good news is that practice can help eliminate awkward moments. If you get stuck thinking about a podcast topic or format, ask your readers for suggestions.

 

Even if only five or ten readers respond, you can get some good ideas and direction. Here’s a short list of podcast ideas that have been successful for other podcasters. Use this list to spark your creativity to find other topics that interest you:

 

One-on-one interviews

One-on-one interviews

Fascinating people in your neighborhood are just waiting to get on your podcast  especially people involved in a cause, an organization, or a business. Discover more about your family’s background or the adventures of your friends. See who in your acquaintance might fit the theme and direction of your podcast.

 

Show your expertise

Show off what you know and share your knowledge with others — maybe even show your audience how to do something.

 

Soundscapes

You can find fascinating sounds all around you that you can document. Record yourself walking through a forest or park. Make some observations about your surroundings, describe each sound, and explain why it’s important to you.

 

Remember, what’s ordinary for you (waves at the beach, a passing train, construction noise, or a barn owl) might fascinate someone living on the other side of the country or the world.

 

Events

A performance at your local coffeehouse, a city hall meeting, or a surprise party all might make for an interesting podcast. Make sure to get permission before recording or publishing a podcast of an event.

 

Discussions

General discussions in social settings can reveal some great conversations. Take your recorder along to your next BBQ or evening social, and direct the conversation along with a theme or idea.

 

Microphone

Microphones these days are built into almost every laptop, and you can easily buy external microphones. Consider purchasing a good microphone from a professional audio store because the microphones that you get from the average computer store or on the typical laptop are poor quality.

 

Ask a podcaster or the staff of a good audio store for advice about the best microphone for the kind of recording situation that you expect to be in. Expect to spend at least $40 for your microphone: It isn’t the item to economize on.

 

Collaboration tools

Many successful podcasts involve more than one podcaster or, at the very least, the occasional special guest. Online tools aimed at making collaborating a breeze are a podcasting team’s dream. Check out  WriterDuet for script writing and Doodle for scheduling. Want to record video with multiple people in multiple places?

 

Check out Skype www.skype.com another incredibly useful and free tool, or Google Voice, a simple and straightforward way to record conversations.

 

Sound-recording and sound-editing software

Unless you’re the sort of person who never deviates from a script or says “um,” you need software to edit your audio or video. Solutions range from free to the price of a small automobile.

 

Let your budget be your guide. You may want to start small and upgrade when you know more about podcasting and your own needs.

 

A good starting point for audio software is the free program Audacity podcasters, largely because it’s free and open source. Audacity is a multi-track recording program, which means you can have two pieces of audio, such as a voice and a piece of music.

 

And you can mix the two at different volumes or even fade from one to the other. A high-end solution is Sony’s Sound Forge  Audacity is a popular audio-editing software program

 

Dressing Up Your Podcast with Music and Sound Effects

How to start a Podcast and Best Podcasts

Nothing spices up a podcast like a little intro or background music. But podcasts — even if they’re produced and released at no cost to the listener — aren’t exempt from copyright restrictions. You need to find music or images that are in the public domain or licensed for republication.

 

Let me be clear: Even if you use only a little bit of a copyrighted song or give the performer credit, you’re still violating copyright if you don’t have a license or other permission to use the music. The same goes for using copyrighted images and video clips in videocasts

 

Magnatune is a record label that helps artists promote and share their music, and make money doing it. The label and artists sell their albums on CD and via download, and they split the money evenly.

 

The music on Magnatune is available for download and purchase, as well as to non-commercial podcasters. To help promote artists, podcasters are granted a waiver to use Magnatune music without paying a royalty fee.

 

Freesound This online database is the result of a collaborative effort, bringing Creative Commons–licensed sound effects to the Internet for use in podcasts

Free Music Archive  The Free Music Archive is another online database that allows podcasters to search for music to use in their recordings. It is free to access and use the database, but be sure to check out artist bios and information regarding the use of their art.

 

Publishing Your Podcast

How to start Podcast

You can put your podcast into the blogosphere fairly simply: Write a blog post about your podcast, upload your podcast media file, and then publish it by using your blog software. But before you do that, you have a couple of tasks: You need to add metadata to and choose a file format for your podcast.

 

Assigning metadata

Metadata, simply put, is data about data. In the case of podcasts, metadata is data that describes your video or audio podcast. When you publish a podcast, whether audio or video, you need to provide descriptive metadata those podcast systems such as Apple’s iTunes and the RSS feed can read.

 

After all, the computer can’t listen to or watch your podcast and figure out what it contains! Common metadata types include Title, Author name, Descriptions, and Keywords.

 

Your editing software (both video and audio software packages) asks you to enter metadata when you create your audio or video files, and software such as iTunes, which is designed to support podcasts, also offers you a chance to provide metadata.

 

Choosing a format

Creating video and audio for general release means that you need to choose a file format that your audience can consume. Most audio bloggers release audio files in the MP3 format.

 

MP3 files are easy to create and play on a variety of devices. Most computer users are familiar with the format, and both browsers and preinstalled audio players have good built-in support for MP3s.

 

Other options are available, such as OOG, an open format, and AAC, a format popular on Apple computers. Windows users can play AAC files, too, if they install QuickTime. The Apple iPod can’t play OGG files, which is a significant issue for most audiences. AAC has some nice features, such as audio bookmarks.

 

Storing your podcasts

Storing your podcasts

When you have a podcast ready for primetime, you need to figure out where to put it online. Posting your podcast poses two problems: Storage: You need a place to put the actual file.

 

Audio and video files are larger than text files, so you may run into an issue with disk space when you store them. 2. Bandwidth (the amount of data your audiences downloads):

 

You have to account for the additional bandwidth required for your audience to download those files. It takes more bandwidth to deliver audio or video to your audience than it does text or images.

You have two options for getting the storage and bandwidth you need: your web- hosting server (the one that hosts your blog) or a free storage website.

 

Using a free storage and sharing website

Luckily for podcasters, a great service called Archive.org  is the home of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to build an Internet library in which researchers, historians, and the general public can store and access text, audio, moving images, software, and a vast collection of archived web pages.

 

You can upload your podcasts to the Internet Archive for free, as long as you comply with its guidelines and describe your content. The system also provides and converts your video or audio format into other formats for increased accessibility.

 

You can find other podcast storage options, too, such as YouTube. When you upload a video to YouTube, your video is listed on the site, where visitors can view and comment on it.

 

But you can also grab the code for the file and embed it directly into your website or blog post. Files that you upload to YouTube are reformatted into Flash video.

 

They must be shorter than 15 minutes and less than 2GB in size. If you think 15 minutes isn’t long enough for your blog, Youtube offers a YouTube Partner Program.  

 

Members of the program are granted permission to upload larger video files, have videos longer than 15 minutes, and share advertisement revenue.

 

Delivering your podcasts

delivering_podcast

After you have your audio and video online and your blog post created, you need to make sure that your blog has an RSS web feed. Podcasts are typically delivered to playback software (such as Apple iTunes) through a subscription to your blog’s RSS feed.

 

Suffice it to say that you need an RSS feed so that your viewers and listeners can subscribe to it themselves, but also so that you can promote your podcast by using some of the handy podcast promotional directories and software out there.

 

If you already subscribe to a number of blogs, you know that a syndicated blog feed contains information such as the title of the post, the main content, and maybe some author information.

 

A podcast feed, in addition to the typical entry information, contains a link to a media file. If a consumer subscribes to a podcast feed by using an RSS reader, most modern readers automatically download the files so that the user can listen or watch at his or her convenience.

 

Promoting Your Podcast

Promote_podcast

Publishing your podcast on your website can help you promote it, but you can get the word out in more effective ways. If you already have a good promotional system built into your site and a decent-sized audience.

 

And You can get users to subscribe to your podcast without too much additional marketing. If you need a little more promotion, however, you also can use a number of other strategies.

 

Adding your podcast to FeedBurner

Feed Burner provides custom tracking and customization of podcast feeds. If you submit your podcast to Feed Burner’s service, you can implement good promotion tools to help your podcast get more play. Now a Google company, Feed Burner has a lot to offer bloggers and podcasters.

 

Podcast Image Location

Podcast Image Location

If you created a graphic for your audio or video podcast, paste the web address of the graphic into this field. This graphic is like an album cover for your podcast. iTunes uses it to fill in the album artwork.

Podcast Subtitle: Expand on your title in this field.

Podcast Summary: Provide a short description of your podcast.

Podcast Search Keywords: Provide descriptive keywords for your podcast

 

Include “Media RSS” Information and Add Podcast to Yahoo! Search: Deselect this check box if you don’t want to be included in Yahoo! Search.

After you create a feed by using Feed Burner, head to your site, put the link to your new feed on your blog, and urge your blog visitors to subscribe. Want to verify that your feed is working? Stop by Feed Validator just to be safe.

 

By using FeedBurner, you can actually keep track of how many subscribers your feed has and how they’re using your podcast, which is useful information if you plan to pursue funding or sponsorship. After you have set up a podcast with Feed- Burner, log in and select it to view traffic information in the Analyze section of the site.

 

Adding your podcast to iTunes

Because of the overwhelming popularity of Apple’s iTunes software as the main podcast viewer, you absolutely must submit your podcast to its service. Before you submit your podcast to iTunes, you need to do the following:

 

Sign up for an Apple ID

Each submission is associated with a user account. If you have installed on your computer and have purchased songs or other media from the iTunes store, you already have an Apple ID.

 

To get an ID, download iTunes, which you find at www.itunes.com; after you install the software, select the iTunes Store option on the left of the main screen to begin setting up your ID.

 

If you have a FeedBurner feed set up, you’ve already taken care of some of the optimization to make your feed work well in iTunes.

Be sure to use the FeedBurner feed address when you sign up in iTunes. Before iTunes adds podcasts to the Store, Apple iTunes staff reviews podcast submissions. The staff can refuse podcasts for even very small reasons.

 

You may have problems getting a podcast added if you’ve been turned down before. After you submit your podcast, it might take several days or even weeks until your feed shows up in the iTunes library of podcasts. If your podcast is rejected for any reason, you receive an email from Apple.

 

Getting listed in Best podcast directories

Best podcast directories

Podcast directories help would-be listeners and viewers find known podcasts. Getting listed in these directories is an easy way to let people know about your podcast. Most directories are organized by topic, and many of them offer subscription features that allow people to quickly sign up for your podcast.

 

Listing your podcast in these directories can most certainly provide you with new traffic to your blog and podcast. Here’s where you should get your podcast listed: Castroller

 

One of the newer websites for subscribing, organizing, and listening to podcasts. You can sort podcasts you listen to into “channels,” and it is easy to recommend podcasts (including your own!) to others. It is easy to use and has a lot of social media functionality built in. This makes it easy for your listeners to promote you.  

 

www.podnova.com More than just a directory you can subscribe, listen, view, read, and maintain your feeds online by using PodNova Another directory where you can publish and host your podcast.

 

You and your audience can listen to and view your podcasts and share them on other websites like Facebook. And if you don’t want to put your podcast on any of the sites in the preceding list, check out the extensive list of podcasting resources at ProPodder

 

Success Stories from Business Owners for Best Podcasts

Best Podcasts

Kelly Hatfield, host of Absolute Advantage

Kelly is a co-founder of Enginuity Advantage. She has been in the recruiting and HR field for twenty years and loves serving others. Kelly and her business partner have built three successful companies with the purpose of helping others succeed and delivering remarkable results.

 

QI: give us an overview of your podcast and the advice shared during a typical episode.

Kelly: The Absolute Advantage podcast is for entrepreneurs, leaders, achievers, and emerging leaders. Our goal of it is to shorten our audience’s path to success. We’re gathering insights and learning from the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and achievers at the top of their game.

Kelly Hatield

One of the reasons I started the podcast was because I realized that as entrepreneurs or leaders, it can be a lonely place or you’re questioning yourself a lot: “Gosh, am I doing the right thing?”

 

I think hearing from other leaders and entrepreneurs—their stories, their concepts, their insights—with the goal being if every person can take away one pearl of wisdom each episode that they can apply and improve their business, improve their leadership skills, then it was a win.

 

We talk a lot about leadership, cultivating people, building teams, personal development. These topics are all relevant to who our audience is.

 

But there is something else. In our business, we own a couple of recruiting firms, so we’ve gained a unique perspective from being entrepreneurs, building our teams, scaling, and doing those things.

 

And we also meet with thousands of companies who are our clients and we hear their pain and we hear what they’re going through or we may be having conversations and can identify some of their pain before they even realize what it is.

 

That perspective and background uncovered some common themes, which are leadership, cultivating people, building teams, and building culture. A lot of our discus-sions—because, again, our business as recruiting is about attracting talent and retaining talent.

 

So our podcast serves two things, which is as an entrepreneur and feeling like that circle shrinks a little bit the more successful you get, so these discussions have become a bit of a system of support and encouragement.

 

And then there was the aspect of, “Gosh, all of these people, including ourselves, are going through a similar kind of pain, or the same kind of situations or issues keep arising.” I wanted to help solve that. Through our podcast, we are building a community around that.

 

Q2: why did you start your podcast and what are two or three of the biggest impacts it has had on your business?

 

Kelly: I have spent over twenty years in the recruiting business and really was looking for something and seeking something that would allow me to make more of an impact on people than I already was—to be able to reach more people and have a greater impact.

 

The second thing was to build a community where people weren’t feeling like they were alone, where we were covering a lot of topics that many people were going through.

 

Then I thought, “Okay, well, how can we do this? How can I accomplish this and bring more value to our clients as well?” That’s really where the whole idea of doing the podcast spawned with the goal of creating more impact and wanting to bring more value to our clients.

 

The feedback I’m getting in terms of the topics, people reaching back out and saying, “Hey, I just listened today to your duo cast about hiring slow and firing fast. Some of that information that you shared, can we talk a little bit more about it?” They’re really starting to look to us even more so than they ever did.

 

Some are clients we have worked with for a long time while others are clients who are fairly new where they’re looking to us as the experts in our field. The podcast is positioning us as subject matter experts.

 

Q3: what is the most critical skill for a business owner to master in order to be successful at podcasting?

 

Kelly: I would have to say active listening, being engaged and present in the conversation with your guest, hearing what they say, reflecting it back to them and/or highlighting some key points they shared and making sure you have clarity about what it is they’re saying for your audience and to help your guest shine.

 

Having been a guest on podcasts myself, there have been times where I felt like, “Okay, I’m in the right place. This host is hearing what I have to say. They’re trying to get the best out of me for the audience.

 

What I’m saying matters. They’re getting it.” Helping a guest feel comfortable is a way to go a little bit deeper with the conversation; maybe your guest will then share another example, another kind of pearl, or another layer of information.

 

The great podcast hosts are the ones who really pull the best out of their guests, which means they engage at another level.

 

Q4: You’ve had some impressive success with your podcast. so, let’s lip that. what do you consider to be your biggest obstacle or challenge to building momentum?

 

Kelly: That darn impostor syndrome! For me, it was overcoming something in myself that was saying, “Okay, what is it that you’ve got to bring to the table?” I’m interviewing these amazing people and at the same time thinking, “Okay, why are they going to want to talk to me?”

 

On the flip side, too, one of the things that I didn’t realize is that 90 percent of the people who are guests on the show are thinking the very same thing. I’ve reached out to some amazing business owners in my network.

 

It’s been a challenge getting them to be a guest because they’re having the very same thoughts, like, “Oh, yeah. Well, I’ve built this great business but I’m not sure what I am going to have to bring to the conversation.”

 

And I have said right back to them, “Well, that’s exactly why I want you to be my guest, because you’ve built this amazing business and started out of your garage, and it’s this multi-million-dollar business now with hundreds of employees.”

 

Checking the ego at the door is huge. I have a business coach and we were having a conversation about the show. It was like getting a glass of cold water thrown in my face when he said, “When did this become about you?” I said, “You know what?

 

You’re right,” and he said, “Where’s the Kelly who is always about bringing value to people and about this being about the audience and key points that need to be made with the audience and in giving of yourself and giving to the audience? When did this become about you and how you feel?”

 

It’s all about the audience and the guests. This isn’t about me in any way.

 

Q5: How many hours do you typically invest each week toward your podcast? 

 

Kelly: Five to six hours a week for our two episodes. My vital priorities are prepping for the shows and the recording time. Because we’re partnering with a team like Predictive ROI.

 

Once I’m done recording the interview, all I’m doing then is uploading that recording into an Airing Schedule, and then my production team takes it from there. I don’t have to do all of the other things associated with the podcast.

 

That was one of the things that were really important to me, too, as, first of all, I didn’t have the time to learn about everything there is to learn about podcasting.

 

There are professionals out there who can do all of these, and I would have paid double, triple, quadruple the amount had I tried to do it on my own, screwed it up, and then had somebody come and ix it for me. It’s a fantastic production, and I’ve got a great team who supports me.

 

Q6: what has been your most unexpected surprise during your podcasting journey so far?

 

Kelly: We’ve had some amazing guests on the show who are masters at building an awesome culture within a company. Applying some of those lessons and seeing the results internally with our team as a result of implementing the thoughts and ideas from our guests has been awesome.

 

Q7: do you have any final advice—anything else you want to share with business owners who may be considering starting their own podcast

 

Kelly: Don’t let fear get in your way. If this is something that you are seriously considering, and are excited about, don’t let fear get in the way. Push yourself outside your comfort zone. There have only been upsides to doing this podcast for me. I can’t think of one negative thing. It’s only brought positive things to my life and to my business.

 

Just because you want to do a podcast doesn’t mean that you need to know everything, all of the technical aspects, and all of the marketing components. There are people out there like Predictive ROI who can help you with that. I haven’t seen any downside. Just do it.

 

David Mammano, host of Avanti Entrepreneur

David Mammano

David has started seven businesses from scratch, was named to Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in America, is host of the Avanti Entrepreneur podcast, and is a TEDx speaker, author, and adjunct professor at the University of Rochester.

 

QI: give us an overview of your podcast and the advice shared during a typical episode.

 

David: I started the podcast because I kind of wanted to have a forum, a conversation, for “the rest of us.” I love reading Inc. magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Forbes, and Fortune, etc.

 

Often you’ll see on the covers these massive superstars, the founder of Uber, or the founder of Go Daddy. I mean all great entrepreneurs, don’t get me wrong—I want to be them tomorrow; there’s no doubt.

 

But the fact is I’m reading these articles and I’m thinking, “That’s just not me right now.” I’m not going to go out and get $100 million of venture capital. I think most people reading these articles are probably a lot like me.

 

They’ve created businesses from scratch, maybe bought a franchise, maybe took over a business, but at the end of the day, we’re not the sophisticated venture capital dudes in Silicon Valley.

 

We’re main-street entrepreneurs who roll up our sleeves and work our freaking tails off, and the investment money that we get from the outside is from making sales. The certain realities are, we’re out on the streets, we’re making it happen, we’re getting our MBAs in the streets.

 

I wanted a podcast for “the rest of us,” meaning, let’s share some really good practical advice and experiences from people like me or a few steps ahead of me.

 

Q2: why did you start your podcast and what are two or three of the biggest impacts it has had on your business

David: I’m a lifelong learner. My podcast really is, at the end of the day, a very stylish way for me to learn. I’m getting guests on whom I really love and respect, and kind of want to suck their brain for knowledge.

 

So I just get to ask them tons of things that I’m wondering about their success. Taking notes as I’m talking to them, asking questions, and listening—so I’m learning.

 

Second, my podcast is really good for my business. One of my main businesses is the Avanti Entrepreneur Group, where I help business owners either grow their business or I help people start their business.

 

I have a whole strategic process on taking businesses to the next level. I’m a coach for business owners. It turns out that I get a lot of people asking how they can start working with me, so my podcast has been good for attracting prospects and customers.

 

Q3: what is the most critical skill for a business owner to master in order to be successful at podcasting

David: I think what I’ve learned so far is just becoming a really good interviewer. Really paying attention, being curious about the path, the way the conversation is going, and asking good questions because what you get out of guests is amazing.

 

The first few podcasts I felt like I was talking too much because that’s what I do, but now that I’ve kind of learned a little bit, what makes a better podcast, in my opinion, is when I’m actually doing very little talking. So I would say become a really good questioner.

 

I’ve taken Dale Carnegie courses, and one of the top things that they teach is The way to get people interested in you is to become interested in them. People love to talk about themselves and their successes and share experiences.

 

People end up liking you more as a person, and respect you more, if you ask them really good questions and allow them to talk and share their experiences.

 

It just makes a person feel good when they’re able to talk about themselves and even their failures if it’s a learning lesson because they’ll feel good about helping others.

 

Q4: You’ve had some impressive success with your podcast. what do you consider to be your biggest obstacle or challenge to building momentum

 

David: Well, I’m 100 percent a salesperson. I love people, and it’s my superpower. I should probably be selling 99 percent. But, when it comes to technology, and the process that goes along with the behind-the-scenes tech, I’m terrible. I get anxiety about it. I can picture myself breaking out in hives. I know what I do best. I sell, I coach, and

 

I love content. I love to write and do videos, so I should be spending most of my time doing that, like the podcast. Developing relationships with guests and asking questions during the interviews.

 

So working with [the] Predictive ROI team—I did not have to do any of the stuff that I’m not good at, which was such a joy. I probably would not have launched a podcast on my own because of all the production and technology involved.

 

Q5: how many hours do you typically invest each week toward your podcast?

David: I’m spending probably two hours—three hours at the most—per week on my podcast. There are about 40 minutes to an hour of doing the podcast. Then I would say there’s another hour or so when it comes to finding guests for the show, then sending them some prep material so that we’re good to go.

 

Q6: what has been your most unexpected surprise during your podcasting journey so far?

David: How much I freaking love it! In fact, Diana on my team, she has said, “I think you found your calling.” When I ask people what I’m really good at, I often hear that I’m a connector, a host, and this is kind of the perfect role for somebody like that.

 

I feel like if I could become the Jimmy Fallon of entrepreneurial podcasting, then I’ll be a happy man. I don’t have to be the star—I can be the host. It feels natural to me. I want to do more.

 

I also didn’t expect how good it would be for my business. It’s a really nice piece of what we’re doing here. Now, I don’t think somebody should get into podcasting just with the sole purpose of increasing business because you probably won’t be focusing on good quality content, and I think that you have to have very good quality content from the heart so people want to listen to you.

 

Q7: do you have any final advice—anything else you want to share with business owners who may be considering starting their own podcast?

 

David: There’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a shot. At the very least you’re going to learn a ton from the people you’re interviewing.

Just do it. You’ll get energy from it, you’ll build your network, you’ll build your reputation, and you’ll build your credibility as a business owner.

 

Mitch Stephen, host of Real Estate Investor Summit

Mitch Stephen

A nationally known real estate entrepreneur, trainer, and consultant, Mitch has purchased more than 1,300 houses in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. He is also the author of two books, My Life & 1,000 Houses: Failing Forward to Financial Freedom and My Life & 1,000 Houses: 200+ Ways to Find Bargain Properties.

 

Mitch is a high school graduate who never stopped learning from books, seminars, and webinars and is a fine example of what “on-the-job-training” can produce in a person. 

 

QI: give us an overview of your podcast and the advice shared during a typical episode.

Mitch: I was just trying to find a place for the people in my niche, which is flipping houses or creating cash low, so they can become financially independent. I wanted to have a place they could go to—I wanted to reach the world as much as I just wanted to reach my niche. We are attracting people who I think we can help—people who are looking to be financially free.

 

I started the podcast because I know just like with my Tuesday night coaching call (I held a call every Tuesday night for the last six or seven years), it has made me a smarter person as well as delivered value to attendees.

 

It’s like the teacher gets the benefit: I might bring ninety-nine pieces to the puzzle; because I’ve been in the business a long time, I’ve got a lot of pieces of the puzzle already figured out.

 

But every now and then, someone raises their hand in the room and gives me an extra piece that I didn’t know existed. Then I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh, this changes everything.” Or, “How in the world did you figure that out?” Or, “Where are you finding this list of people?” Then I think, “I have to start doing that!”

 

If you think the guys who are listening to me are getting smart, I’m getting really smart by listening to everybody. And the podcast helps me in the same way.

 

Q2: why did you start your podcast and what are two or three of the biggest impacts it has had on your business?

 

Mitch: I was trying to get more people into my mentoring program. I was trying to move from thirty to forty people a year to fifty or sixty to seventy people a year, just to see if I could. If you do all this stuff just for the money, it becomes kind of a drudgery or it’s an obligation. I just recognize in my life that activity begets activity.

 

The more active you are and the more things you’re trying or doing, just the more people you bump into, and the more possibilities and the more options come to you.

 

I thought, “Well, I haven’t done this before, I wonder what this would bring me?” And I have no idea exactly what it’ll bring me. I knew my goals were to get my sales up and to get some more followers, but what kind of followers am I going to find?

 

What kind of opportunity will they have in store for me? I don’t know, but it’s fun to go out there and try it and see what happens.

 

Then the other thing about it is if you ask a really successful CPA to go to lunch so you can rake his brain, get some tax advantages from him, he’ll say no. If you tell him you want to interview him, he’ll run to your door.

 

It’s the same conversation, but one is I’m stealing from him and the other one is I’m honoring him. If you want to talk to them like an interview, they’ll talk to you for two hours. If you want to rake their brain, they’re not going to talk to you—they want your money.

 

Q3: what is the most critical skill for a business owner to master in order to be successful at podcasting?

Mitch: You have to listen. Listening is the hardest thing I’ll ever do because I like to talk. Listening is hard for me. I recommend slowing down. To let my guests take the conversation where they want to go and for me to shut up and let them finish. That’s my personal challenge. I’m kind of ADD; some people would call me high strung, or tightly wound.

 

Q4: You’ve had some impressive success with your podcast. so, let’s lip that. what do you consider to be your biggest obstacle or challenge to building momentum?

 

Mitch: My biggest challenge is that I would like to interview some more famous people. We often think of them as unattainable because we are not a TV station or some other media channel.

 

I decided this year I was going to make this a goal. As a matter of fact, I just got off the phone trying to contact Doug Flutie because I wanted to have a conversation with him about underdogs.

 

I talk to a lot of people who are underdogs. I love a good comeback, and you know who was the king of comebacks in the NFL? Doug Flutie! He was small for the giants he was playing around.

 

Someone said, “Well, how in the world is his story going to relate to real estate?” I said, “Well, his story’s a little broader; it’s not about real estate, it’s about overcoming the odds, incredible odds.” How did he do that?

 

Q5: I know you track where you invest your time as well as your productivity— so how many hours do you typically invest each week in your podcast?

 

Mitch: The setup was the hardest part. After the initial setup, it’s three to five hours per week because we air three episodes per week, and I invest about one-and-a-half hours per episode.

 

I don’t have to do a lot of rehearsal or scripting because I live the subject that I’m talking about with our guests. And my guests live the subject, too, so they don’t need a script either.

Usually what we do is we map out the initial four questions, just so we get off to a smooth start. I also spend a little bit of time reading their bio, how I’m going to introduce them, and then we’re off.

 

Q6: do you have any final advice—anything else you want to share with business owners who may be considering starting their own podcast?

Mitch: Yeah, don’t do it by yourself. Don’t think you have to do it all. There are experts out there—find them to help you.

The reason I never did it sooner is that I thought I had to do everything myself. Now that I have a team in place—and for only three hours a week of my time to have three episodes go out per week, that’s an incredible reach.

 

That’s not too much to ask—three hours a week to be available to the world and to build this body of work and content. When I complete the first year, it will be 150 interviews. What are the chances that I hold 150 interviews and something good doesn’t happen? I think the odds are in my favor. Something is going to happen!

 

Lee Caraher, host of Focus Is Your Friend

Lee Caraher

Lee started Double Forte in 2002 as a new kind of communications firm designed to provide the best service in the business. Previously executive vice president at Weber Shandwick, president and founder of Red Whistle Communications, and vice president of SEGA, Lee has managed multiple choices and hundreds of people of all ages and was named in the “40 under 40” by PRWeek magazine.

 

QI: give us an overview of your podcast and the advice shared during a typical episode.

 

Lee: The purpose is really to help marketing people who are just bombarded with, you know, tactic, after tactic, after tactic. Do this, do this, do this, and do this, right? No company and I’ve talked to companies who now are $10 billion companies or $100 million companies or haven’t-made-revenue-yet companies, and no one has enough money.

 

No one has enough time. No one has enough people. There’s always more to do, no matter what size the company is, more to do than you can do. The purpose of the show is to focus on what matters so you can actually get traction.

 

My guests are chief marketing officers, chief revenue officers, chief communication officers, or CEOs. It sort of depends on the size of the company. Those people who are responsible for connecting a company with its audience and causing them to act. Sometimes at Google, it’s a director.

 

If you get a director at Google, that’s an “intergalactic president of something else” at another company. It just really depends on the size of the company, but the responsibility is to communicate and engage an audience that moves that audience to act.

 

My favorite question I ask everybody is, “If you had a hundred dollars and you had two activities and the two tasks, the two programs, cost $70 each, what would you do?” Frankly, I have a point of view, which is clear in the title of the podcast, Focus Is Your Friend, that you should do one thing.

 

However, no one is really paying attention to that when I talk to them. I’ve gotten every answer from do one thing and save the $30, take the $70 and add $30 to it to do that one thing, do both, negotiate. I mean everyone!

 

It’s really interesting to see the wide range of answers on that very simple question that I thought I would get the same answer. There’s a rationale for everything!

 

Q2: why did you start your podcast and what are two or three of the biggest impacts it has had on your business?

 

Lee: There are two reasons I had to start my podcast. One is to provide a place where my employees can tap into the wisdom and insights that I’m bringing. It’s important they get to hear me—the bigger we get and the farther away we are.

 

Right now I’m in New York, and we have an office in Boston, and we have an office in San Francisco. My podcast allows me to be present on topics important to our business.

 

Then the second purpose was I get asked a lot by people, “Lee, can I pick your brain? Can I pick your brain?” I’m like, “You know, I got no more brain to pick, frankly.” This podcast allows me to do that as well.

 

Then third, what’s been so far with the people I’ve interviewed, they’re all people I know. I mean I’ve been around the business for a long time. I’m that old. I’ve worked at really large companies that have really large clients so I’ve had a lot of contacts. I don’t have an excuse to talk to them all the time.

 

This has been a great excuse to talk to those people and to (A) find out what they’re doing, and (B) almost half the time I have an idea for these companies after I talk with these people.

 

We may not be the ones who implement it, but that person on the other side I’m interviewing has always said, “Thank you, that’s a great idea.” Then sometimes it comes back, “Could you guys do that for us?” Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t. When you are in the service business, which most of us are, being helpful is the key to staying on top of mind.

 

Q3: what is the most critical skill for a business owner to master in order to be successful at podcasting?

 

Lee: I think it’s the same skill you need to be a good leader, which is listening, and not listening to respond, but listening to hear. This has been the hardest thing for me—to not talk over my guests.

 

All I want to do is, “Oh, yes, great idea.” My early interviews are not as good as my later ones. I’m always listening for the nugget. Then trying not to talk over the person when I find it.

 

Then when you’re doing that, listening between the lines, it sounds like you’re taking that in, resisting the temptation to talk over or to jump enthusiastically into the conversation. Then you reflect back what you took out of that piece as the nugget.

 

And at the end of the show, I’m summing it up by saying, “Here are the three things I’m taking away from this. You have something totally different, but what I’m taking from this show is bum, bum, bum.” I try to be reflective that way. When that process is followed—from the beginning of the interview to the end—rapport is growing.

 

Q4: You’ve had some impressive success with your podcast. so, let’s lip that. what do you consider to be your biggest obstacle or challenge to building momentum?

 

Lee: Time is challenging. Then making sure I don’t ask too much of our guests before they show up. I’ve been a guest on over 450 podcasts. Some of them want pre-calls, and “Can you fill out this big form with all this stuff.” As a podcast guest, I’m already giving you an hour of my time. I try to keep being a guest on my show simple.

 

Then sort of getting over the fear of asking people to be on the podcast. Like, “They’re not going to want to be on my podcast.” You know what? Sure, why wouldn’t they? They like talking to me.

 

Q5: How many hours do you typically invest each week toward your podcast?

Lee: What I do is probably three to five hours a week. Three to five hours a week recording because I always want to be a little bit ahead. I record the interview and then as much as I can I record the Friday episode right after the interview so it’s fresh in my mind. It’s forty-five minutes of recording.

 

Then once a week I’m looking at where I am in the cycle and who hasn’t said “yes” yet and adding people to that. Probably three to five hours of recording in my little studio looking at the questions, getting ready, preparing, understanding who’s coming, who’s my guest, what do I need to know about them, and then actually recording the two shows.

 

Then fifteen to twenty minutes to approve the Show Notes and the promotional tweets for each show and probably another hour to just make sure that I’m on track with everything. Like, do I have the right guests? What am I missing? Do we have to mix it up a little bit?

 

It’s a lot of time. It’s not insignificant.

 

Q6: what has been your most unexpected surprise during your podcasting journey so far?

Lee: Some people really come prepared. They really take it seriously. I did all the thinking beforehand, right? I did a lot of thinking before I even wanted to do this. It took a lot of time to think about it.

 

But my guests are really taking it seriously and some of them are nervous. People are nervous about talking on podcasts, which is really ironic. Impostor syndrome—lack of confidence abounds.

 

Drew at Agency Management Institute

Drew at Agency Management Institute

 

Drew is the top at Agency Management Institute (AMI). He has also owned and operated his own agency over the past twenty years. All through the year, he straddles the fence of working in his own agency and working with 250+ small to midsize agencies in a variety of ways.

 

He works with agency owners in peer network groups, he teaches workshops for owners and their teams, and he does consult. His Build a Better Agency podcast reached number one in iTunes’ New and Noteworthy shortly after launch.

 

QI: give us an overview of your podcast and the advice shared during a typical episode.

Drew: My podcast is an offshoot of my business, Agency Management Institute, and so as one might infer from the word agency being in both of those names, my audience is narrow. I serve agency owners and agency leaders in advertising, marketing, PR, media—those kinds of agencies that are what I call small to midsized.

 

They might have one employee up to about three hundred employees. They are privately owned so the owners are still invested in the business, not only financially but it’s where they spend their days.

 

My guests than are equally focused. When I sort of screen for who would make a good guess the question I ask myself is, “What could they teach an agency owner?” For me, that gets easy because not only do I have that business, but I still own my own agency.

 

I’m able to look at it from the lens of, “Can I learn something from these people in terms of running my agency?” That means my audience can as well. My guests have ranged.

 

They’re really a wide array of people in terms of their skill set, so everyone from CPAs who can talk about how to build your agency’s value before you sell it, to an intellectual property attorney who talked about protecting trademarks, to people who own an agency, who’ve built an agency from scratch, or who’ve left a big agency to go out on their own.

 

So I really try to come at it in terms of who can help agencies be better, be more profitable, build a better entity, have better employee relationships. Anybody who can talk about any of those topics is game for me as a guest.

 

Q2: why did you start your podcast and what are two or three of the biggest impacts it has had on your business

Drew: I think like most things in business there are intended consequences and then there are surprises, so my intended consequence was to broaden AMI’s digital foot-print—to create a platform that was more interactive and allowed me to share with my audience expertise beyond my own expertise.

 

I’ve owned my own agency for twenty-one years, and I’ve been doing this AMI gig for almost a decade, so it’s not that I don’t have a lot of knowledge around running a better agency.

 

But there are certain things that guest Sharon Toerek knows because of her expertise as an IP attorney that I’m never going to be able to speak to with the same influence and authority she can.

 

I wanted to add even more value than I’m capable of doing on my own; hence, I need super-smart guests who have expertise outside of my own small sphere of knowledge. That’s some of the unintended consequences, so I knew that I’d be exposed to more people.

 

I knew that that would over time trickle into workshop registrations and other things, consulting gigs, all that sort of thing. A couple of things came out of it that I really hadn’t expected.

 

Number one, the trickle of opportunity from podcast guests to workshop attendee has been greater and faster than I thought it would. So that’s awesome.

 

It’s not just workshops, it’s consulting gigs, and AMI runs peer networks where agency owners come together and become like a Vistage group, but everybody is an agency owner. There have been more members joining.

 

All of the things that AMI offers have benefited from the podcast, but some of the unintended or what I didn’t really think about, or maybe went out of my primary goals are, I now have deeper connections with all of those guests, and that serves my audience in a couple ways.

 

One, I have people I can connect agency owners to when they need a specific thing. I’m a much better referral source now to be able to connect them to these experts.

 

Number two, at a lot of the workshops and AMI peer networks and some of the other things we do, I need great speakers, so the podcast has been a way for me to audition if you will, the speakers to see if they would be good as a guest.

 

Number three, it’s opened up some really interesting partnerships between me and some guests. We’ve been able to collaborate on things together. Projects that serve a lot of them also serve the same audience. It’s deepened my friendship with those folks, and it’s got me a lot more invites into industry events, so that’s been great.

 

There’s not been a downside—there’s been much more benefit than I ever expected. I think the model you teach, which is the Trojan horse of sales, where you’re inviting as guests to your show people you would like to do business with, I think that’s brilliant.

 

It’s just not what I decided to do. As you know, I’m talking to other folks about it all the time and suggesting that they think about doing that and that they talk to you. Because I do think it’s spot on.

 

I guess I would put it this way—I’m accidentally getting more business out of my podcast guests because of how and who they are. I think when you have a great intention about who you invite on your show you can do it at an exponentially faster and better rate, but that wasn’t my goal so it’s not the way I built my podcast, but I certainly think it’s a smart way to build a podcast.

 

Q3: what is the most critical skill for a business owner to master in order to be successful at podcasting

Drew: I think it’s a combination of skills, but I think the most important skill is that the host needs to be able to check their ego at the door. My job is to augment and put the spotlight on my guest and their expertise.

 

I do that by listening really hard to what they say and running it through my letter of, “What else would an agency owner want to know about that?”

 

I’m not talking over them. I’m not trying to jump in and show how much I know about it, but I am listening super hard. I am asking follow-up questions and trying to stay out of the guest’s way so they have as much airtime as possible to share expertise.

 

I’m always listening like, “What should I be asking next? What did somebody want to hear more about that or how would they want to drill deeper into this?” I’m trying to ask those questions because I don’t want somebody going, “I can’t believe he didn’t ask X!”

 

Q4: What do you consider to be your biggest obstacle or challenge to building momentum?

 

Drew: I’m sure I have the same doubts that everybody had. “What if I suck? What if nobody listens? What if no one wants to be a guest?” At first, there was the, “How much work is it going to take?”

 

For me it was really, I don’t want to say a confidence issue, but it’s a new venture, “What if I’m not good at it?” You’re in essence doing it live, so what if I say something silly? How do I recover from that?

 

What I discovered is, that the minute I again checked my ego at the door, I realized that it wasn’t about somebody listening to me, it was about me cultivating this great list of guests and serving the guests well, which serves my audience.

 

So, I allow my guests to have the spotlight and I allow them to really share their expertise and me prep them properly so it’s like, “Look, there is no selling; this is not about you getting clients, this is about you generously sharing your expertise.

 

Here are the kind of questions I’m going to ask. If you’re not comfortable answering those questions, don’t come to the show.” None of that was about me. It was about serving up the best content for the audience by putting the guests in the best possible light.

 

It wasn’t really until I had fifteen or twenty episodes in the can that I really knew that this was something that was going to catch on and take off even though the numbers were already suggesting that that was the case. I needed that sort of, “Wow, all of my guests are consistently really good.”

 

I had my own rhythm in terms of how I approached an interview, and then it was like, I can’t possibly stop doing this because it’s so awesome and successful and people love it, and it’s serving my business so well, why in the world would I stop?

 

The only advice I have is, you kind of push through it because it’s good for your business, it’s good for your customer or clients, and it’s good for you as a person, too.

 

I learned so much from my podcast guests. It just makes me a better professional. It makes me a better person, so there’s nothing bad about it. You just have to get over yourself to get it done.

 

Q5: How many hours do you typically invest each week toward your podcast?

Drew: The time factor was really my biggest fear. “Will I have time for this?” I own and run three different companies. I am the primary caregiver for my mom, who is in late stages of dementia, and I have a twenty-three-year-old daughter, who, any of you who are a parent know, requires time and care and attention as well. My life is very scheduled.

 

I am going at a full speed all the time. The idea of sitting and watching a television show without doing something else—I don’t know what that’s like.

 

I was very concerned about shoving something else into my calendar. So I will say this, and again in full disclosure, I quickly partnered with Predictive ROI to do the back end of my podcast.

 

I’m a firm believer in recognizing where my own strengths and weaknesses are and doing what I do best where I can get the greatest return, whether that’s in a personal relationship or that’s money in a business or whatever it is, and recognizing that I cannot be all things to all people and so I need to pay for expertise that I don’t have.

 

I had no desire to learn how to create a relationship with iTunes and do all the editing of the podcast and all of that so I turned to Predictive ROI and said, “I want you to produce my podcast for me.

 

I will source the guests; I will interview the guests. I’ll help with the Show Notes and things like that, but the whole technical side of it, I don’t have the time nor do I have the expertise to do that really well.”

 

The time investment on the front end was greater. We had to get all that stuff set up and even though I didn’t do most of it, I had to sort of at least vote on some things. I was worried because of my schedule and, I guess, let’s add to me, “Here is what my life looks like.”

 

I was on 188 planes in 2015, so I also travel a ton and I’m in a lot of all-day meetings, so I was really worried about having enough interviews so I didn’t go dry one week.

 

My podcast is a once-a-week podcast, so I wanted to have twenty or thirty interviews in the can before we went life, and I think I ended up with about the twenties.

 

Obviously, the time investment to do that was greater, but for me that’s half a year’s worth of podcasts. After the initial push, there are some weeks where I do little to nothing.

 

I might approve the Show Notes that someone else has written for me. I might write a little intro that is going out on my blog or on Facebook when the show goes live, but there are some weeks that I don’t do anything.

 

For every podcast episode I would say I invest about thirty minutes to the guest, send the guest an email, which is a preset email that I just ill in a couple of blanks and sign them, inviting them to be a guest.

 

Then your team has everything automated so they go and find my schedule, they choose the time that works for them, they sign up for the interview. It gets out into my calendar so I know they’ve signed up, and then they’re automatically sent the questions and reminders and all kinds of stuff that I don’t have to think about at all.

 

I will have about thirty minutes of prep to get the intro ready and to get my list of potential questions ready and all that sort of thing. Then I spend 45 minutes or an hour or so doing the actual podcast interview.

 

I upload that into Dropbox and then I’m done. Then my team, which is your team, edits the podcasts; gets it ready; and submits it to Google, Stitcher, and iTunes; writes all the Show Notes; does all of the stuff in the background that I would never have time to do. Makes sure that the audio quality is great and coaches me on things that I can do better, all of those things.

 

With today’s technology, I have recorded podcasts in probably every state of the union. I have a really high-quality microphone, and it’s very portable. I can take it with me and so (A) the podcast is fluid and flexible enough that it works around the rest of my life and (B) it’s easy to go anywhere.

 

I will say this, if I can pull off a weekly podcast episode, anybody should be able to—not because I’m superhuman, but my life is just so calendared and scheduled that if I can figure out a way to it in, it really can’t be that big of a burden.

 

I thought it would take more time than it did.

 

It flows nicely with the rest of my world, and now literally I’m at a conference or whatever and I’m saying to somebody, “Oh, you know what? You’d be a great podcast guest,” and I am from my phone shooting them the template email, and boom they are signing up while we’re standing there talking, and it’s all so easy and seamless and the value proposition for me.

 

It’s been so good for my business. I can’t even imagine how good it’s going to be for my business three and four years from now. So the time investment is really minuscule compared to the value.

 

I also can’t even imagine how valuable it would be to me if I were interviewing prospects I wanted to have as clients. The value would be even greater. It’s just not my business model. Even in doing it my way, the value is exponential compared to the time investment.

 

Q6: what has been your most unexpected surprise during your podcasting journey so far?

Drew: People are reaching out to me now to be on the podcast. I have people asking if they would be good guests, which is awesome. I’m getting more opportunity to speak at conferences and other podcasts.

 

So again, remembering that one of my goals was sort of to expand my digital footprint, and today in marketing anybody who is not thinking about how to really amp up their thought leadership and demonstrate their expertise is missing the boat.

 

In terms of a thought-leadership tool or a marketing tactic, this has been spectacular. It’s rippled a lot of other benefits for me in terms of exposure. Fast Company, Inc. magazine, and other places like that—I’m being invited on a regular basis to write for because of the podcast.

 

It’s a rare marketing tactic that there is sort of no downside. There really has been no downside to this. It’s exceeded my expectations in every way possible.

 

Q7: do you have any final advice—anything else you want to share with business owners who may be considering starting their own podcast?

 

Drew: The hardest part is getting started, it’s having the courage to start, to have enough faith in yourself that you can do this and do it well. Whether you’re going to do the back end yourself or you’re going to hire a company to do it, however that works out for you, you’ve got to have the courage to step into this because it is an amazing business tool.

 

I have not talked to any podcasters who’ve actually done it, and stuck with it, and don’t get more value out of their podcast that they put time and effort in. So it’s a very rare investment on any scale where you’re guaranteed a greater return than what you invest.

 

I believe that podcasting is one of those things that if you do it with the right intention and you do it with the right level of professionalism there is no way you’re not going to get more from it than what you put into it.

 

It has exceeded every one of my expectations, and I can’t imagine a business that wouldn’t benefit from it. So if you’re thinking about doing it, I’m telling you, you should.

 

Stacy Tuschl, host of She’s Building Her Empire

Stacy Tuschl

Stacy is a speaker, business coach, and the owner of the Academy of Performing Arts in Wisconsin. She is the author of Is Your Business Worth Saving?, where she reveals proven strategies for pulling entrepreneurs out of a rut and launching them toward business success.

 

She is also the host of the brilliant podcast She’s Building Her Empire, which became the number one podcast in iTunes’ New and Noteworthy just forty-eight hours after launch!

 

QI: give us an overview of your podcast and the advice shared during a typical episode.

Stacy: I do three podcasts a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and for two of them, Monday and Wednesday, I interview high-achieving entrepreneurs and then Friday is my solo cast day.

 

I love getting in front of these entrepreneurs, asking them, “Do you believe in work/life balance? Does it exist? Define that for me?”

 

I love it because you get such different answers each and every week from everybody, and I think that is one of the best things that I’m doing is making sure that my answers aren’t something that I’m going to get this typical cliché answer every time.

 

I love mixing it up and giving my audience just something different every single time.

 

Q2: when you and I talked about platform building in episode I74 of the onward nation, you shared your three steps of collection, engagement, and conversion. How do you define each of these steps and what are some of the ways they tie into the success of your podcast?

 

Stacy: Those three words sound so easy and everybody thinks they’re doing it, but they’re not doing it at the level they need to see that conversion they want. For me, the collection is opt-in.

 

You know, always having something of such value that people are surprised and just blown away that you’re giving it away for free. That’s for sure step number one.

 

Then, once you have that freebie out there, they’re opting in; now you’ve really got to engage, and I think that’s where people start to fall short. They don’t have the funnel setup, they don’t have the sequence actor.

 

And one of the big things I do with my freebie is I’ve got a private Facebook community and now these are getting to be a little overwhelming for people.

 

Monday through Friday, I’m giving content so people say, “I’ve got to check it out today. I’ve got to see what she’s putting out.” That’s such a great place to engage because they’re there, they’re commenting.

 

I can comment back, so I make it part of my daily routine where I’m in Facebook Live, giving a free video training inside that group and then engaging with everybody that’s commenting and sharing and liking.

 

Then, once you have that setup and they’re engaged, if you can do number one and number two really well, number three of selling and converting them is so simple because they’re ready and willing because your free stuff is so great. They can’t imagine what you’re going to over-deliver on with the paid version.

 

Q3: why did you start your podcast and what are two or three of the biggest impacts it has had on your business?

 

Stacy: I was already listening to podcasts and getting such amazing value out of the people I was listening to, so I immediately saw it as this amazing platform to give value to my community. That was really what made me think, “Okay, this could be something I could do.”

 

I wasn’t positive if I would be good at it or if I would like it, but I just knew that I should try it and see where it goes. The biggest impact I’m going to tell you about is the relationships that I’m building with my guests. It’s unbelievable the people that I’ve interviewed on my show.

 

These are the people I’ve actually looked into some of them to consult with. I would have to pay $500 an hour to get on the phone with some of these people that I’m interviewing, and it’s crazy that I get to, for free, pick their brain for thirty to forty-five minutes.

 

It’s just unbelievable, the content and the information that they’re giving to me. It’s like free mentorship with these incredible, high-achieving millionaires.

 

I think another thing, too, with this is the opportunities that are coming out of it when they go, “Hey, would you like to be on my podcast?” So now they’re on my show, they’re starting to like me and go, “She could really give value to my audience, too,” so I’m getting opportunities like that and then affiliate opportunities.

 

People are emailing me and saying, “Hey, I loved your show. I love your audience. Would you mind doing this type of promotion coming up and be a partner with me and get an affiliate?”

 

It’s just amazing what has come off of this. My foot is now in the door to getting into an hour with them over lunch or just something to work my way in that I don’t know that I would have the opportunity if I didn’t have that podcast.

 

And last week alone, I had two different people email and say, “Hey, I’ve got this going on. Are you interested in partnering?” These were just two occurrences that happened last week as a result of the podcast.

 

Q4: what is the most critical skill for a business owner to master in order to be successful at podcasting?

 

Stacy: I struggled at the beginning with how much do I say, how little do I say, what should you be giving out, and I think if you could practice interviewing somebody, it doesn’t have to be on a podcast. Practice is crucial.

 

I’m at episode number 90 right now, and I can just tell when I’m listening when I’m going back and listening to certain podcasts, how comfortable I’m feeling talking with somebody and communicating and it’s really just a conversation between two friends.

 

If I could have understood that in the beginning, I would have realized how much I should be talking, should I give my point of view, or do I say, “Oh, very interesting? Next question.” It was just that balance of how much I say, how much do I give, and you have to realize people are listening to your show.

 

Q5: What do you consider to be your biggest obstacle or challenge to building momentum?

 

Stacy: Understand that everything is a system, everything is a strategy, and you just have to have the right people on your team, and the right guidance.

 

Hitting number one in iTunes wasn’t something that just happened. That was a strategy. That was me really putting a system in place and pushing, and to hit number one, and to try to be on that top of the charts, it all comes down to four things and it’s rating, reviews, subscribers, and downloads. You’ve got to create that list before you even launch.

 

I made a list of all these different people that I could personally email, personally reach out to, and write emails that didn’t feel like a mass email. It felt like I was one-on-one saying, “Hey, Stephen, is there any chance you could go and rate and review my show?”

 

There was just that conversation, too, to really sit back and go, “I know I need to hit X amount of people and I know I need to try to get that credibility of having ratings and reviews,” because let me tell you.

 

I’ve been trying to get on certain podcasts or have people on my show, and they’ll say, “We don’t get on a certain podcast until they have at least fifty ratings and reviews,” and not in a way that they’re better than me, but they’re saying, “

 

A lot of podcasters will start and they’ll stop and this just shows that they’re sticking around, they’re serious about it, and this podcast is really going to get air.”

 

Q6: How many hours do you typically invest each week toward your podcast? 

Stacy: I have been doing just once a week on Wednesdays. That’s my podcast day and I batch them. I just find that when you’re in the groove and you’ve got that set of interview questions, it’s just so easy to low from one interview to the next versus trying to do this actually one on Monday, one on Wednesday.

 

Batching has been great. I typically interview three people a week to keep me staying on top of my calendar. Now, even though only two

 

air a week, you’d be surprised how many people reschedule at the last minute, apologize, and say, “Hey, I’m so sorry. I can’t do this today, but I’m on your calendar for next week.”

 

Q7: what has been the most unexpected surprise during your podcasting journey so far?

Stacy: I think we all have that self-doubt of, “Am I going to be good enough? Do people want to listen to me? Will guests want to be on my show?” We don’t give ourselves enough credit.

 

I thought in the beginning, “Who am I going to get on the show when I don’t have anything out there, there is no podcast, and I’m asking people to be interviewed on a podcast?”

 

but I mean, even right out of the gate, I was able to get some amazing people in episodes 1 through 10. Don’t sell yourselves short. People will look into you, they’ll look into other things that you’re doing, so they were checking out my live broadcast and my website, and my book and that was giving me credibility.

 

Q8: do you have any final advice—anything else you want to share with business owners who may be considering starting their own podcast?

Stacy: One of the big things people don’t realize is that that first email invitation needs to look so professional and it needs to have everything in it. I get so many of these emails now because people are asking me to be on their show.

 

I can’t believe sometimes that I have to email back and say, “Well, who is your audience? What questions?

 

What can I bring? I need to know what I can bring to your audience because I don’t want to waste your time and I don’t want to waste my time either.”

I jam-pack my invite email with everything. I get so many people who don’t respond to the email—they just immediately book with me.

 

Lori Jones, host of Integrate & Ignite

Lori Jones

President and CEO of Avocet Communications, Lori brings top retail, consumer product, business-to-business, and nonprofit organization knowledge and experience in all aspects of integrated marketing to clients.

 

Her experience with Fortune 500 brands and entrepreneurial start-ups enables her to contribute a keen understanding of the intricacies of today’s businesses. Lori is also the host of the brilliant podcast Integrate and Ignite.

 

QI: give us an overview of your podcast and the advice shared during a typical episode.

Lori: I explore the nature of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Every episode is crafted to make people think, and spark some of those aha moments, or just to illustrate how important a truly integrated business and marketing strategy is, and really provide a solid blueprint for people to lead to success and longevity.

 

At the end of the day, our guests are a mix of start-up entrepreneurs, and Fortune 500 CEOs from different industries. If our listeners seek out the advice, inspiration, or gain a good laugh, or just one of those kicks in the pants that they might need, then I feel that we’re pushing out good content.

 

We explore several different topics through each interview. We talk about philosophy and leadership, and what qualities it takes to succeed in today’s fast-changing business climate. We then get into the approach. What is their approach to leadership?

 

How do they integrate their internal departments, and, more important, which is the premise behind the podcast, what are they doing from an integrative marketing stand-point? What has worked? What hasn’t? What can they share with our listeners?

 

We then move into the third segment of the interview, which deals with obstacles. We’ve all had a lot of obstacles in our business lives, in our personal lives—and challenging times that could have devastated us.

 

We glean insight from these CEOs and business leaders on what they did to overcome those obstacles. We end the podcast with success and defining what success means to them as an individual, as an organization, and talk through some of the processes that they deploy on a day-to-day basis for big wins.

 

I love it. I get so excited when I get to record a podcast, talk with a CEO, or a business leader, or a start-up entrepreneur about what is in their head. I’m constantly learning, which is important to the mindset I have with all of our team members as well.

 

Q2: what does a “personal brand” mean to you and how can a business owner use that to create differentiation?

Lori: Personal branding is about making a full-time commitment to the journey of defining yourself, as a leader, and how it shapes the manner in which you serve others.

 

It should represent your value, and consistently deliver to those whom you serve, or those whom you report to, or those, ultimately, whom you want to be able to impact positively. The most important thing about personal branding is that it’s not about self-promotion.

 

People don’t care about all the accolades, and all the awards, or anything like that. You don’t showcase yourself. You showcase your passion. Managing your personal brand requires that you be a great role model, that you be a mentor, that you’ve got a voice, that people can learn, grow, and depend on.

 

Q3: why did you start your podcast and what are two or three of the biggest impacts it has had on your business?

Lori: I’m very inquisitive, and I love to learn. I always want to know more. From a business standpoint, there have been several benefits from my podcast. Here are a few: It’s all about building top of mind awareness, or “TOMA,” surrounding integrative marketing approaches for small and big businesses.

 

My podcast has enhanced our agency’s position as a leader in our space. You cannot dream up the quality of content we are now producing from our episodes. The content was a major reason I knew going into this that the podcast would benefit our business.

 

The other point I want to make is we’re able to open up doors that probably would not have been opened without the podcast. In our industry, there are Fortune 500 companies that get contacted consistently—and constantly—from marketing firms like mine.

 

This has allowed me an entrée that is unique and different, it establishes credibility out of the shoot, and it builds context for the prospect. All of that would be very difficult to do otherwise.

 

Q4: what is the most critical skill for a business owner to master in order to be successful at podcasting?

Lori: I have a script going into every podcast, but I have to be able to think on my feet and ask questions throughout the interview that are poignant and relevant based on a response that has been given by my guest. I listened to many, many podcasts, and this is something that you do very well—you pivot.

 

I’ve got my script going into each interview, and I plan to ask similar questions in each episode, but 50 percent of the content generated is typically based on questions that have been asked while I am pivoting in response to what a guest sharing.

 

Q5: what do you consider to be your biggest obstacle or challenge to building momentum?

 

Lori: I don’t believe most people are fully aware of the strength of podcasting. They might even be a little afraid of it. They might even ask themselves, “What is a podcast?”

 

Despite the explanation that I provide guests up front, some prospective guests are afraid about the amount of prep time they might need. So our podcast has become a good litmus test.

 

If people we talk to, if there’s a great brand out there that ultimately we want to become a part of, and they don’t understand what a podcast is, that’s a good litmus test for us to know. Maybe they’re not quite up to this sort of solution. That has been a big epiphany since we started the podcast.

 

Q6: I know you track where you invest your time as well as your productivity.

 

Lori: I personally invest around ten hours a week with interviews, reviewing content, and prospecting additional guests I’d like to have on the show. My vital priorities include getting the big brands, and the big leaders on the show, which can really take months to accomplish.

 

Our team invests about 15 hours a week creating the content, newsletter, Show Notes, and the actual podcast episodes from a production standpoint. All in, it’s about 25 hours a week for our entire team.

 

Q7: do you have any final advice—anything else you want to share with business owners who may be considering starting their own podcast?

Lori: We all, for the most part, have these incredibly personable brands out there, but they’re on paper. They’re words. They’re visual. They might have a voice, but there’s nothing better than the actual voice.

 

Your actual voice delivering content! To me, a person’s voice adds that personal connection to their brand and to their content— and that is very valuable to the personal brand.

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