Why podcasts? They are exploding. There is so much room for podcasts.
One reason I love it is that it is an owned channel; you have a direct voice to people. And that is a powerful megaphone. Not only is it an owned channel, but it is a medium that you can go hyper niche. So if you are selling to dentists in third-world countries that work on crocodile teeth, you can have a show that caters to that demographic.
There’s a fantastic essay by a man named Kevin Kelly called 1000 true fans; all you need to build an empire is 1000 people who are fanatics about what you’re doing. And I think that’s true. That’s much more achievable than building a million-person empire.
From that standpoint, podcasts are great. Because if you understand your ideal customer persona, you can be the only person on earth, creating high-quality content that appeals to them. The growth piece of podcasts is how quickly this industry is growing.
I run a podcast for veterans – hyper niche audience. I’ve had 404 episodes to date. I’ve interviewed Jocko Willink, The New York Times bestseller. I’ve interviewed the CEO of PepsiCo. I just interviewed on Friday, Bruce Cleveland, who is an investor who has generated over a billion dollars in return. He’s been part of taking three different companies public.
I bet you $10,000 none of these people would have met with me. All of these people met with me because I have a podcast, and not a single one of them asked how big my audience was.
Podcasts get meetings, cold emails don’t. There are people in my industry, who strictly use podcasts for business development. So if you are interviewing the type of people that you want to work with, they’re going to be much more responsive to a podcast interview than a cold email.
There is a company called UpMyInfluence. They literally line up the guests that are your ideal customers. I don’t have any data to say that it works, but it’s worth an experiment. Those are the reasons why I think podcasts are effective.
I’m a big believer that when it comes to the host, it’s got to be the founder or the CXO of the company. And I know that a lot of companies outsource this. It’s a tremendous mistake. It is a big ask to get two hours of this person’s time a month if you’re part of a rapidly growing or big organization. I can’t work with you.
The first reason for that is the relationship piece. When I’m interviewing Jocko Willink, I want that relationship. I still reach out to these people, because you remember these intimate one-hour conversations.
The second piece is elevation. If you watch our content on LinkedIn, a lot of it we’re using this side by side talking head format that CNN and news agencies have made popular. Because no one knows me. Everyone knows Jocko. It really elevates your brand because I’m punching way above my weight. And I also want to be explicit I’m you know, 400 episodes in my first 50 episodes, we’re not with that caliber of people. But eventually, you start upping your game, and you’re exposed to these people and this elevates your own brand.
A third reason is to get their expertise and time. When I talked to Bruce Cleveland, I’m leveraging his expertise. I took 20 minutes to prepare to come up with questions; that’s all I have to do. If I bring curiosity and questions to someone with expertise, it’s such an efficient way to harvest high-quality content. And that’s why I also say I love This American Life. I love 99% Invisible, I love Ear Hustle, highly produced story-driven podcasts. I would never produce that. They have a whole production team. They spend months on a single episode.That’s why it’s got to be interview-based. At most 5-20 minutes of preparation and outreach and the rest of the time is someone else sharing their wisdom.
For these reasons I think podcasts are great for your business. It’s an easy way to connect with your clients and with new potential customers giving you the opportunity to be hyper niche. And from a single episode you can generate so much content for all your social media channels. But in order to slice through the noise, it’s not just a quantity play, you actually have to have compelling content.