Podcasts are a growing industry, with around 100 million listeners in 2023… in the US alone!
Branded podcasts continue to grow, too. Branded podcasts build relationships with your audience, engaging your fan base and informing them on the current state of your industry or company.
In this clip, three MarketingProfs Marketing Smarts podcast hosts—current host George B. Thomas, and past hosts Kerry Gorgone and Matt Grant—exchange their experiences with podcasting and reveal how it’s impacted their careers.
Watch the clip or read the transcript below.
Starting your own podcast—personal or branded—can have a positive impact on your career as well.
And for more from George B. Thomas, plus sessions on podcasting and using audio/video in your marketing, check out the program for B2B Forum, live in Boston this October 4-6.
George: So it’s interesting. You, [Kerry], were like, “hell yeah!”
When I got approached to do the first podcast that I was on, I was like, “hell no.”
Because I didn’t feel like I knew what I was going to do, or knew what I was going to say, or knew who I was going to talk to, any of that.
Matt: I didn’t either!
George: So it’s great that you were like, “yeah, let’s jump into the deep end.”
Not everybody sitting out here is ready to jump into the deep end, but just know that you can trust the process.
And that first episode might not be the best episode. But it’s going to be your favorite episode, because it was the first episode that started you on a journey that can dramatically impact your life and impact your business.
It literally [was] starting a podcast in 2013 that was one of probably the three definitive indicators of where I am today. And I don’t necessarily mean sitting on this stage, but who I am as a human being and how I show up.
So trust yourself and trust the process is what I’m going to say.
Now, a lot of this first part was kind of about us and how we got started in this.
But I want to dive into it. And Kerry, I’m going to start with you and then maybe Matt, you can go second. We’ll see!
So when you sit down in front of a mic to do a podcast episode, what are you thinking about?
Kerry: Did I leave the iron on?
I do four shows right now. I work for a company called Appfire that’s in the business of Atlassian apps. And before I worked at Appfire, I knew nothing about Atlassian or apps. So a great way to get indoctrinated is to talk to people who do.
Now I do four shows in four different categories.
Every episode is 10 minutes. And it’s very focused on a single question. Like, “what is the XY problem and how do I solve it?” or “what is probabilistic forecasting and what’s it good for?”
I know very little about it. I’m not saying absolutely nothing, but very little about it.
I know about the speaker, and so in the minutes before we start, I’m thinking about warming up the speaker because they typically haven’t met me before. And the better our rapport is, the more that warmth will translate into the finished product and make it better.
They know the topic. All I have to do is make them comfortable. I don’t need to know anything. I just need to showcase their knowledge and expertise. And so that’s what I’m thinking about in the minutes before I record.
George: Yeah, there’s a couple of things I want to unpack from that that I think the audience should take away.
One, you don’t have to be the expert to be the host of the show.
Two, you said 10 minutes, so it doesn’t have to be 30 minutes or an hour you might see on some shows. Whatever it is that you think your audience needs is what you might want to try to create and leverage.
What are you thinking about, Matt? I’m scared right now. What do you think about when you step in front of a mic?
Matt: Well, usually I’ve done some prep work. I mean, usually, I mean, what you guys did when you just said, Kerry, when I started the cloud computing or hosting the cloud computing podcast, I did not know what cloud computing was.
And so I dove into it and I educated myself. I got to the point where I could ask a good question, but I could not evaluate the answer. They would be, “oh, great question.”
Kerry: I don’t even pretend. I was like, “what is that?”
Matt: I have no idea. But there may be a lesson there. So on some level, I’m just thinking about… I usually have four or five questions. And I know I’m going to ask follow-up questions and clarifying questions because sometimes people… they need a little coaxing to get things moving.
The other thing I do think about is the audience. And one of the things that Anne [Handley] had pointed out, one of the things she appreciated about my method is I would ask stupid questions. Like really basic questions.
And my example is, do you guys remember Guy Kawasaki? So I interviewed Guy Kawasaki. At the time, I think Guy was trying to get a job at Google, so he was focusing on Google. Everything he wrote about was Google. He went to Google’s this, that, and the other thing. He wrote a book about Google Plus. I don’t know… Google Plus was a thing, didn’t worry about it. They [audience] might not…
Kerry: Ask your parents!
Matt: Ask your parents. They [audience] might be too young…
And so [Guy] is talking about Google Plus and all these things you could do with Google Plus. And I was just like, “dude, can you just explain to me what you’re talking about? I don’t know what Google Plus really is or does, and I don’t do anything on it and I have no idea.”
In fact, now it’s vanished.
So one of the things I do think about is: I’m the representative to the audience on this podcast. I’ve got to ask the questions… The podcasts that I’ve done were never about me. They were all about how can I ask a question that I think my audience is going to want to hear? And sometimes they’re the very obvious questions like, “what the hell is this guy talking about?” Or, “can we take one step back to understand context?”
Great advice on hosting a podcast: just get started, trust the process, represent your audience, and know you don’t have to have all the answers.
George B. Thomas will be in Boston this October 4-6 at B2B Forum, hosting both a small-group roundtable and B2B Bingo, one of the many shenanigans we have planned.
For more details about all 55+ informative, educational, and inspirational events at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, check out the program now!