Why I Stopped Blogging And Started Podcasting
Want to make a podcast? How did I quickly launch my shows? Why did I launch a daily podcast? Should you consider launching a daily podcast, too?
(Note: This article is based on a transcript of my online training program.)
Well, here's the story. I launched The LEADx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse on March 6, 2017. It's about three months old at the time I’m writing this. It’s actually the second podcast I've launched.
My first podcast is a weekly show, The Extreme Productivity Show with Kevin Kruse, and it’s called a monocast, or solocast. I just basically talk and give a productivity lesson once a week, which makes it very easy to produce. No need to beg guests to come onto your show, no hassles with scheduling, and no guest-related tech hiccups. This show has been extremely successful and quickly found an audience.
For The LEADx Show, I decided to both go up to daily frequency and I would always bring on a guest to interview. So I dramatically increased the logistics and the scheduling and the overall time commitment.
So why would I do that? Why would I launch a daily?
Well, it starts, first of all, with my belief and experience that content marketing is really the right way to build a business. I think just being consistently helpful through articles or eBooks or white papers, whatever your thing is, providing content is the best way to capture attention, build a following, build a brand, and get leads.
I've been focused on content marketing for years it’s been one of the keys behind my multimillion dollar companies, my New York Times and Amazon bestselling books, and more recently my five-figure speaking gigs. My basic approach has been to write helpful articles, and to publish them on Forbes, Huffington Post, GoodMenProject, and of course, I write and can publish on my own controlled websites: KevinKruse.com, LinkedIn, Medium, and all social media platforms.
I also use these articles as a way to feed the beast, which is what I call my weekly email newsletter. Most people know that they should be sending out e-newsletters on a routine basis (I say at least weekly). But most people forget about it, or skip a lot of weeks because they don’t know what to write about. But if you're doing a steady stream of articles, you can basically use your email newsletter to just notify your list of your new content.
I'm not a real fast writer so it takes me a minimum of two hours per article to think up an idea, do a bunch of Google searches, research it, write it up, revise it, think about search engine optimization—what are the right keywords to put in the headline, and the URL and in the H1 tags—then of course, upload the article and make it live. It's at least two hours, often three hours of time. I write a new article about once a week. I always found it difficult to schedule more than one article a week because of the amount of time it was taking.
It’s with this content creation background that I discovered podcasts. First as a listener, then as a guest. While I struggled personally to keep up with reading all the blogs and online business websites, I discovered I could listen to my favorite podcasts on the treadmill or while driving my car or while cleaning the house. I was hooked.
Not long after I began to hear my author friends revealing that they were moving way more books from being podcast guests, than they were by guest blogging. Aha!
Podcasts really have been exploding. Over 21 million hours of podcasts listened to every single day, 3.3 billion downloads of shows over the last year. And podcasts have gone mainstream. In fact, if you just go on to iTunes and look at the most popular podcast shows, almost all of them have a corporate logo, whether that's NPR, a media logo, or a big tech company logo on it. Companies have come in, all the newspapers now their own dailies, weeklies, and special edition podcasts.
As of the end of 2016 there were 250,000 active podcasts which sounds like a lot, but there are 500 million blogs out there. So, for now, there's a lot less noise in the podcast universe. It's easier to standout with a podcast than it is with a blog, although it's getting a lot tougher by the month it seems. And individuals still can dominate this space. Tim Ferris, author of 4-Hour Workweek, gets over five million downloads a month. John Lee Dumas, with Entrepreneur On Fire (eofire.com), and James Altucher of The James Altucher Show, each get a million downloads a month.
As I began to think about how I might launch a podcast for content marketing purposes, I had an “Aha!” moment. Now remember, I was writing about one article a week and it takes me two to three hours to write that article. I suddenly realized what if I create a podcast episode, and then leverage it in different media formats on different channels multiple times? Could I achieve reach more with less time?
Self-Syndication With The ‘Content Waterfall'
The strategy I came up with I call a content waterfall. I have no idea if anybody else calls it that or not, but in my mind, I visualize creating the podcast episode and then the media falling down over the rocks or over each media platform in slightly different forms. It works like this…
I start with a podcast episode, and I’ll take the audio and convert it into a video file (with a still image of the podcast logo), and upload that video file to YouTube and also to your Facebook page.
Then I send the audio to a service called Rev.com to create the transcript (it costs a dollar a minute), and an editor can quickly turn the raw transcript into an article version of the episode. I publish this article on Forbes.com, and after their five day exclusivity is up, I publish the very same article on: LEADx.org, KevinKruse.com, Huffington Post, LinkedIn, Medium, GoodMenProject and potentially other places.
This is a normal practice in media known as syndication. When Scott Adams makes his Dilbert cartoon, he doesn't just put it in one newspaper. It's licensed to run in thousands of newspapers. So don’t think this is plagiarism or that it’s going to confuse your viewers. Again, most people will never encounter your content in more than one place, and if they do, they’ll just think, “Oh yeah, I read that one already.”
And when you go to put your video on your Facebook page, don’t just use the YouTube link. You want to upload the video file natively to Facebook. Why? Facebook is trying really hard to compete in the video space so they will treat your page or your profile much better if you're uploading a lot of video. They’ll be more likely to show your video in the newsfeed, too, if it’s been uploaded and not just linked to YouTube.
What do I do after I've published my articles? I do an email blast. I still have my weekly wrapup email newsletter, but now I’ve added a daily version to let everybody know, “Hey, in case you didn't hear the podcast, I interviewed this person. Here's a great takeaway. Click here to read it or click here to listen to it.” So the podcast, once again, is giving me content to feed my email subscribers. Again, rather than this being redundant, many of my listeners will just click the link in the email and listen to the episode from my web page…they don’t even bother to subscribe on iTunes.
I'm still not done yet milking that single episode! On the day of the email blast I feed all my social media channels. I will put teaser copy or short versions of the interviews on my Facebook page, LinkedIn, Instagram, even Snapchat and Twitter.
You can now see what my big “Aha!” was all about. I can record one podcast episode and take that audio and spread it to 15 different places with very little extra time or money.
- Podcast episode
- YouTube video
- Facebook video
- Forbes article
- LEADx article
- com article
- LinkedIn Pulse article
- Medium article
- Goodmenproject article
- Email newsletter
- LinkedIn status message
- Instagram story & post
- Snapchat story
- Twitter post
- Facebook post
I don't do any of these repurposing steps myself. I use virtual assistants, who you can find on Fiverr.com and other places. This means I keep my focus on recruiting great guests and conducting great interviews. The rest “flows” down my content waterfall automatically. What's amazing about this is that leverage.
Again, let's just assume it was taking me two hours to write an article and let's assume it's taking me 30 minutes to do the interview. It's actually about 20 minutes, but I pad that. And I get 15 placements of the content. That means in one-fourth the time, I'm getting 15 times more hits; that's 60x increase in productivity. I'm big geek when it comes to maximizing productivity, maximizing my 1,440 minutes a day. So this idea of doing a podcast and spreading it everywhere was really appealing.
Now the other final bonus is that when you do a podcast and it's an interview show, each guest you interview, will now spread the link to their audience, to their tribe. So this is fantastic. Unlike me just thinking up a big idea and writing an article and hopefully people spread it around, every person I interview is going to take the finished show and say to their audience, “Hey, I just had a fun chat with Kevin Kruse on the LEADx show. Click this link to listen,” and hopefully some of those people will say, “Oh, this is a pretty good podcast. Let me subscribe to the show. Let me learn more about Kevin Kruse.” So there's also this leverage in terms of really hitchhiking on other people's platforms.
Why I Decided To Do A Daily Podcast
The “content waterfall” was my first “aha!” moment, but the second big idea I had was to do a daily show instead of a weekly. It wasn’t necessarily an original idea, but it was a big idea for me.
Most people, when it comes to doing a podcast, they do a weekly show and even that is tough to keep up with from a production standpoint. I don't know if this true or not, but I’ve heard repeatedly that the vast majority of podcasters quit after seven episodes just because of the time and the headache. And so to do a daily instead of a weekly is quite a commitment.
There is also a newer phenomena, in addition to a daily or a weekly show you can do podcast seasons. Whatever your topic is—for example, parenting—you just record a 10-episode season on how to be a great parent, or how to be a parent to teenagers, or whatever. Then you take a break and you go away one month, two months, five months, and everybody knows that that's the end of season one. Then whenever you're ready, you can record and then release your second season on your schedule. The idea of “seasons” is sort of like the Netflix series model where people can now binge watch, or binge listen, in the case of podcast, a whole bunch of episodes at once. That's not a bad way to go. But I chose daily.
Why did I decide to do daily? My inspiration for a lot of this is John Lee Dumas. Many of you may have heard of JLD. His show is EOFire (Entrepreneur On Fire) and it's a daily podcast. His is a seven-day a week podcast where he has a different entrepreneur on everyday. He has thousands of episodes (I was actually interviewed on his 1,373rd show to talk about my book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management).
The genius of Dumas is that he was one of the very first podcasters to do a daily interview show, and certainly the first within the business or entrepreneurship space. And Dumas literally releases a new show every single day (my LEADx Show is “only” Monday through Friday). That means in Dumas’ very first year of podcasting, he had 365 authors and CEOs and gurus all talking about his show, talking about their episodes.
The power of frequency cannot be overstated. If you look at the people that have largest number of Twitter followers, they're not sending out a tweet a day or even a tweet an hour. They're sending out a tweet like 30 times an hour, I mean it's like a non-stop stream. If you look at Instagram influencers, those with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers, they're posting many times a day.
Most of us as content producers never produce enough content. As consumers we think, “My God, who's gonna have time to consume all that?” Or, “Oh, that's just overkill. I don't want that much.”
But remember, with social media, and really media of any type, we're not assuming that the consumer is sitting there, taking it all in. We think it's like a river that's rushing by and you just tap your toe in and out. CNN repeats pretty much the same 30-minute news every half hour. If there's a breaking story or some developments in the day they'll update that news package, as they call it, but if you just leave the TV on you would see the same show every 30 minutes. It's because we don't watch CNN in that way. It's like, “Hey, I've got 10 minutes to kill. I'm wondering what's going on in the world. Let me put it on CNN because I know good stuff is gonna be there.”
We consume social media the same way. I’m bored, I have 5 minutes to kill, let me check Facebook. And whatever happens to be streaming in those 5 minutes is what we see. We won’t even notice all the other stuff flowing in the feed.
So the idea of the daily podcast follows in this theme. Dumas does a short format show about 20 minutes long, and he asks the exact same questions for every guest so he doesn't even have to do any preparation. Dumas literally records 16 shows in an eight-hour day. He can do a months' worth of interviews in two days! I know his pace personally…when I was a guest it was less than five minutes of small talk and then we launched the show, I think the interview lasted less than 20 minutes, and then he booted me off. That was about it. He didn't read my book, he didn't look up my profile on LinkedIn, he didn’t try to think about provocative questions. He read out loud the bio that I submitted to him and then he asked me the same questions he asked all of his guests like, “What are you most excited about today?”
With Dumas as my model I decided to commit to daily. Except…
I quickly discovered that the approach wasn’t right for me. Within ten interviews I was bored by the same questions. Didn’t think it was doing justice to my guests’ message. So I decided to make the time investment in reading all the books quickly and tailoring the interviews. Did I lose some of my time leverage? Absolutely. It now takes me probably 90 minutes to two hours to read the book, prep and conduct the interview. But it’s an easier two hours than when I was just writing blog posts, and still has the advantage of the content waterfall and a guest who will (usually) promote the show.
How To Make A Podcast: Tools And Resources You Need
So what do you need to launch a podcast? What are the tools or other resources you need to get going?
Well, the good news is you don't need much.
First, it's more of a resource than a tool, I took a free podcasting course provided by John Lee Dumas of EOFire. It's completely free and walks you through step-by-step how to podcast. You can sign up for the free course yourself here:
Yes, that’s an affiliate link, and I never promote anything I’m not using myself. And, again, it’s free. There's a pitch at the end to join the membership site, Podcasters Paradise. I joined that group too and highly recommend it. You can actually launch your podcast just fine with the information that I'm providing to you from this free podcast course and from other sites.
But when you join Podcasters Paradise all of a sudden you get tons of advanced training, and more important you've got the community. When you launch your show some of those people will review it and rate it. Sometimes members become guests on each others shows, anytime you've got a technical question or marketing questions, people immediately jump in to answer.
The second thing did was I got the tools, the equipment. There's a million different options and no one right answer. But here’s what I use…
This is the microphone I use for podcasting: Heil PR40 microphone, which is sort of the gold standard. If you want a cheaper microphone, most podcasters I know use the Audio-Technica AT2020USB.
These are the over-the-ear headphones I use for podcasting: Audio-Technica ATH-M30x. You can use a cheaper pair but I recommend sticking with the over the ear headphones for better hearing, and to make sure the guest audio doesn’t bleed out and back into your own microphone.
This is the interface mixer I use for podcasting: Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface. Basically, you plug your microphone and headphones into the interface, and the plus the interface into your computer with its USB cable.
I’ve used both my PC and my MacBook Air to record my podcasts on. I prefer the Mac partly because there is no fan noise in the background.
That’s all the hardware you need, but what about software?
I just use a free copy of Skype to make audio-only Skype calls to my guests. Most of the time my guest also has Skype so it’s just a Skype-to-Skype call, but occasionally they insist on using their phone, in which case I still use Skype but I dial their phone number from within the program and it rings them up just fine.
To record my Skype calls—my interviews—I use eCamm Call Recorder for the Mac.
So that's it. That’s my setup.
Now believe it or not. There are many popular podcasts where the host is literally just talking into his iPhone. Others just use the earbuds and microphone that come with their iPhone and plug it into their Macbook. Don’t let a lack of budget stop you. It’s nice to have a professional sounding show, but you can always launch and improve later.
So now you know that I first got some training, second I got some equipment and now…
Step three, you need a place to host your podcast show files.
Where do you actually save those podcast files so that other people can download them in a podcast app and listen to them?
A lot of people use Libsyn. I don't know a lot about them, but I think they’re almost the standard.
Instead, I use and highly recommend a resource called podcastwebsites.com. It's a service for about a hundred bucks a month. But they give you everything. Meaning, they will host your files but they will also design for you a website or a webpage so that people can come to your podcast, learn about it, learn about you, and then subscribe and download and listen to the episodes. And there's great tech support.
So rather than you building your own website from scratch or learning how to create a website for podcasts…they basically do it for you. It's plug and play. I'm not technical at all. I don't know how to do any of this stuff. I signed up with podcastwebsites.com, told them what I was looking for, within a couple of weeks they built me a website that looked really cool.
In fact I've used them twice. The first time it was for my Extreme Productivity Show with Kevin Kruse. You can see it's just a nice clean landing page where I could get people's email address. Then there's the podcast, about the podcast show, other resources, and contact information.
With my new daily show, The LEADx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse, they built it, but it has a very different look and feel than my other one. So it’s not like all their podcast websites look the same. You get a good amount of customization so it will match your brand or logo.
So that’s the three steps.
- Get some podcast training (Learn!)
- Get a microphone, headphones, and call recording software
- Get a place to host your audio files
How To Make A Podcast: Choose A Name For Your Show
What should you name your podcast? What should you call it?
Some people just use their personal name:
- The James Altucher Show
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- The Joe Rogan Experience
- The Bill Simmons Podcast
- The Tony Robbins Podcast
If you’re already famous, or at least have a massive social media following, you can get away with this. The show is basically about you; meaning you, your thoughts, and your interviews with other people. But if nobody knows your name, they’ll never discover your show. Even if they stumble on it somewhere they are unlikely to be compelled to subscribe.
Other podcasts just have a creative and/or cryptic name:
- Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me
- Ponzi Supernova
- 99% Invisible
Again, the only people who can pull off show names like this are people or companies who already have a big audience they can pitch to. NPR uses a lot of podcast names like this. Why? Because they have millions of listeners on the radio and they run their own commercials to them, “Hey, we launched a new podcast called Serial!” And everyone goes and looks it up. Again, unless you already have a huge audience, avoid cute or creative names.
There are all kinds of show names out there, but I think most of the best shows will have both the name of the person and the topic that the podcast is about. Examples:
A lot of shows are just given self-obvious descriptive names. I like these because often words in the title will be good keyword matches for people searching for new shows. Examples:
- The Happiness Podcast
- Grammar Girl
- Global News Podcast
- Startup Podcast
- Planet Money
- FinTech Insider
My favorite is a combination of descriptive keywords and your personal name for brand building. They’ll find your show—or at least know what it’s about—from the first part of your show name, and they’ll begin to remember you from the second part of the show name. For example:
- Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
- The Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher
- Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
- The Life Coach with Brooke Castillo
For myself, my newest podcast I name, “The LEADx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse”. That's the official name in iTunes and in all the tags. LEADx is kind of a cool, creative part. To me, I thought of LEADx the way I think of SpaceX or TEDx or the X Games. Depending on your definition, it's next generation or it's exploring. LEADx, to me, is next generation leadership, exploring the topic of leadership. It's just kind of a cooler, more modern, hip view on leadership.
Not everybody knows that's what that means, and a lot of people who will of never have heard of LEADx will type into the iTunes search bar “leadership”. So I added that into the name, too. It sounds funny, to say it all together, “The LEADx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse”. But whenever I'm talking about the show in public, I just call it “The LEADx Show”.
Again, finally, I'm putting my own name in there for personal branding reasons and again for people who are actually searching on “Kevin Kruse” as a way to find my shows.
My previous show was a short, monocast weekly show to promote my time management book. It was called “Extreme Productivity with Kevin Kruse”. I looked around, and while time management is the phrase that most people are searching on on Amazon. Within iTunes, it seemed like most people are searching on the word “productivity” rather than “time management”. It's a term I prefer anyway. So I wanted to put this key word, “productivity”, into the title of the show. Again “with Kevin Kruse”, but “Productivity with Kevin Kruse” just sounded boring, so I spiced it up. I don't just talk about productivity, I talk about extreme productivity. That's kind of a catch phrase that I use over and over again to position within that time management space.
How To Make A Podcast: Choose Your Logo or Icon
Now, when it comes to your logo, your icon, I think a helpful exercise is to go onto iTunes, under podcasts, and pick a category that your podcast is going to be in. In my case, it's business. Just pick a category and then back up away from your monitor, or hold your phone away at arms length, even squint your eyes a little bit.
Just look at which logos, which icons, are standing out? Which ones are drawing your eye? Which one grabs your attention? Even with your eyes squinted a little bit, which ones can you still read? Use those as models. For design inspiration use the ones that are catching your eye and easy to read.
t a glance, just ask yourself, is your eye drawn to the ones that have people pictures in them? Mine is. I don't know if that's just me or not.
That's why I included my picture in my podcast icons. Even if your eye isn't drawn to it, if you're trying to build your personal brand, then—even if it's a little bit uncomfortable for you—you want to put your face on that icon. My colleague Vania teases me because I don't like doing it. I don't like having my image out there. She calls it face branding, and whether I like it or not, it helps. It helps to get the message out.
- What color do you want to use?
- Will you use your image or not?
- Will you use large fonts or not?
You can see for my shows…I'm using this obnoxious, but eye-catching orange. I'm including pictures of myself on the icon, and then in fairly large type for the show titles.
Now, my own show icons are very flawed. They're fine, but if I could do these over again, especially this LEADx Show one for example. I would zoom in more on my face and less on my body. Also, even though it's officially “The LEADx Show” or “The LEADx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse”, I would ditch the word “the” and “show”. I would have just made LEADx really big with Kevin Kruse. At some point, I'll redo these icons.
How To Make A Podcast: A Script For Your Intro And Outro
So, how you create your podcast intro and outro?
What is a podcast intro and outro? Let’s start there. Your podcast is going to be you talking, dropping some value bombs without a guest or maybe you’ll be interviewing a guest on the show. The intro is the first 30 seconds, 15 seconds, one minute. The outro is your last thirty seconds or minute of the show. They’re sometimes called bumpers. So it’s when you introduce the show and when you “outroduce” the show. Is that a word? I think I just made it. You get the idea.
So what are the goals of these bumpers? For the intro, you basically want to hook any new listeners and maybe offer up some authority. Usually you would give the podcast name, the host name, what the subject matter is, not of the specific episode but of the podcast itself. There’s often music in the background, very uplifting and you might read a sponsored ad if you have sponsored ads.
On the outro, you want typically to give another call to action. Maybe it’s a call to action for your own product, maybe it’s a sponsor message. Most podcasters will also mention the show notes and talk about signing up for an email newsletter or leaving a review for the show as another form of call to action. And then end on positive emotion So let’s see some examples.
John Lee Dumas, JLD, the host of EO Fire is really a master at podcasting so I’m always keeping an eye on what he’s doing. This is what he’s doing for his intro these days. He says,
“Who’s ready to rock Fire Nation? JLD here and welcome to episode 1683 of EO Fire where I chat with today’s most inspiring entrepreneurs seven days a week. Create your dream life one step at a time. My book How To Finally Win will be your guide. Visit howtofinallywin.com to learn more. And now let’s chat with today’s featured guest and [guest name].”
So what is John doing here? He’s getting the energy high, getting some motivation going with, “Who’s ready to rock?”
He introduces himself, “JLD here.”
He’s telling you in this case an episode number and the show title, “Welcome to episode 1683 of EO Fire.”
Then he explains that it’s a seven-day a week show so you know how often to look for it, how often to come back. Then he says the benefit or WIIFM, what’s in it for me, and his own call to action. “Create your dream life one step at a time my book How To Finally Win will be your guide. Visit …” He gives the URL to learn more.
Then he introduces his guest. So in this case JLD is not reading a sponsored ad. He’s basically taking that time and really he’s his own sponsor. He’s reading his own ad.
Let’s look at another example. Pat Flynn is the creator/host of Smart Passive Income. He’s got a mega successful podcast and blog, great guy and for his outro he has a professional voice narrator say:
“This is the Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn session number 268. Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast where it’s all about working hard now so you can reap the benefits later. Now for your host, the founder and president of the 4 AM club Pat Flynn.”
Now I don’t love this intro. I’m not going to criticize it really because Pat Flynn has an audience like a bazillion times bigger than mine. He’s been doing this for years. I’ve been doing it for a couple of months but the intro is redundant and that might be on purpose just to anchor in people’s minds but we’re getting the title “Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn.” And then again immediately with, “Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast…your host Pat Flynn.”
Now my intro is very short, and in fact my whole podcast is very short. I think everybody is feeling “crazy busy” these days and that’s pushing us to short format communication. So my whole episode is only 20 minutes long. The average commute in the United States is 24 minutes so I want to be in and out on one half of a daily commute, 20 minutes.
Given that, I want my listeners to start to get value really early on in the show. So I have a professional narrator that begins with the ultimate promise, the WIIFM:
“Would you like to accelerate your career and reach your full potential in just minutes a day?”
Then the show title.
“Welcome to the LEADx show.”
Then an authority-builder tagged to my name:
“With New York Times bestselling author Kevin Kruse.”
If you’ve never heard the show before and it’s like, “What’s this LEADx show? Who’s this Kevin Kruse?” Like, “Oh he’s a New York Times bestselling author.” There’s some legitimacy there. “Maybe this guy has got something going on.” So in just two sentences of my intro, I’m packing a lot in.
I then personally come on and introduce the guest.
Now for the outros, John Lee Dumas says,
“Hey Fire Nation, hope you enjoyed our chat today. Goals equal success so with the freedomjournal.com you’ll be accomplishing your number one goal in 100 days. I’ll catch you there or catch you on the flipside.”
So his call to action again is really a promotion for one of his own products. Then he reads a sponsor message. So it’s basically two ads in the outro.
Pat Flynn does something similar. He says,
“I want to take a moment to thank today’s sponsor which is …”
Then he has like a one minute ad for the sponsor. Then he does his own plug.
“I just want to thank you for listening to the show and remind you about my new course.”
He tells everybody about his course. Then he says,
“Alright everybody, thanks for listening again. Keep crushing it guys.”
Ends on a very positive emotional message.
Now my outro is a little bit longer. I feel if people have gotten to work and are getting out of the car…they’ve just gotten their value in already, it’s okay for me if they tune out on the outro. I say:
“Alright friends, you’ve just been mentored by [guest]. Don’t forget you can get links and notes from this interview over at LEADx.org.”
I want people to go to LEADx.org because it gives me a chance to get their email address. I’ve also got a Facebook pixel on the website page so now I can target listeners with Facebook ads. So I’m just reminding them that “Hey there is a website that goes with this show so hop on over there.” That’s why I’m doing that.
The next thing I say in the outro is:
“That’s it for today’s episode of the LEADx show but don’t forget to download our free eBook, ‘Richard Branson’s 7 Secrets To Leadership’.”
Then I give the url for the free ebook. Same tactic here, I’m trying to get listeners’ email addresses.
“Until next time, remember leadership is not a choice because leadership isn’t about authority, it’s about influence. And you influence people with both your words and your silence, your actions and inaction. We are all leaders. Lead with intent.”
So I’ve got kind of a long final message and I guis this is just my own quirk. It’s like the fundamental philosophy of the show. I believe it’s the underlying value or “belief” of the LEADx tribe. Over time, hopefully it will mean something.
Let’s say you’ve now thought about and written out what you want your intro and outro to say.
How To Make A Podcast: Companies That Will Create Your Intro And Outro
How do you actually produce or create an intro and outro? Where do you get the music? How do you get this awesome radio voice to read it and put it all together?
Personally, I use a company and website called musicradiocreative.com/podcast. They have a package called “build your podcast jingle.” You can get jingles for like $20. I think I paid $355 for the deluxe all inclusive package which included a wide catalog of music to choose from, they’ll work with you on the script, and you can request changes to what they give you.
It’s not cheap but again this is your first impression. It’s your first 20 seconds of your show and it’s what people are going to remember on the out as they leave you out so you want to get the music right. You want to make it sound professional.
If that's just too much for you, you can go to Fiverr.com and search on audio production or podcast production and find much more affordable packages.
How To Make A Podcast: Post Production And Audio Editing
How do you do podcast post production? Or in my case, how do you with work an audio editor to do your post production for you?
Let’s start with, what is post production?
After you've recorded your podcast, whether it's your solo show, or you've just interviewed someone, maybe over Skype or a different software, you've saved that raw audio file. But it's not ready to share with the world yet. Post production involves:
- put the intro and the outro in the front and back of your episode.
- equalize the audio. Very often, your audio is going be higher or lower than your guest audio. So, you want to equalize those out. In fact, you want to increase or decrease the overall audio level to an industry standard so that people playing the podcasts aren't starting them super loud or super quiet as people go from show to show.
- eliminate any obvious background noise or mistakes. Now, for myself, because I'm lazy, cheap, and in the spirit of authenticity, I'm okay if I say, “ums” and “ahs”, all those verbal pauses. I'm okay if you hear me breathing, et cetera. But sometimes you get really bad things. You'll have technical difficulties. Someone's dog starts barking in the background and everybody pauses. You just make a mistake you want to edit out. That all happens in the post production.
- save the file out into a podcast format. Usually that's an MP3 file with a certain standard, which they call 128 K, 44100.
- add meta-data, information about that file called ID3 tags.
Often, whoever's doing post production will then upload the file to your file hosting service, ready to go to stream as a podcast.
Of course, you can do this post production work yourself, if you know how to do it or want to learn how to do it. It's not particularly difficult. If you want to do that, you just need audio editing software, like Audacity, Adobe Audition, Pro Tools, or Garage Band. These are popular packages.
A lot of podcasters like to do all this stuff themselves. Myself, I'm all about doing the stuff that only I can do. I want to hire other people to do the rest for me. What are my “unique talents” for podcasting? Only I can interview the guests on the Kevin Kruse show. Only I can determine if a guest is a good fit for my show or not. Only I can use my network of contacts to reach and recruit guests.
But am I the only one to do audio file editing? Even though I could learn how to do it, I'm better off spending my time on other things.
So, how would you hire someone for post production? How do you find an audio engineer or an audio editor?
It's really easy. What I did is I just went to fiverr.com. It's a marketplace for all kinds of freelance services. If you just type the search term “podcast editing,” you will come up with literally hundreds of freelancers all around the world who do podcast post production. Some of it really is cheap. You can get editing done for as little as five dollars per episode. Be careful, you do in general get what you pay for. I've used Fiverr editors with success many, many, times.
Now, if you want to work with a more legit company, it might cost you a few dollars more, but again, musicradiocreative.com has a lot of services for podcasters including post production.
Another company that comes highly recommended—I haven’t tried them myself—is teampodcast.com. They're highly recommended from many, many people in the online podcasting forums.
You could also just Google “podcast post production” to find a bunch of other solutions.
And trust me, once you start podcasting, you're going to be getting an email about once a week, from yet another consultant, freelancer, or company that's try to do this for you for a fee. There's a lot of people out there. If you enjoy doing it yourself, great. But otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. Easy enough to outsource it.
How To Make A Podcast: How To Batch Your Guest Interviews
How do you batch your podcast interviews all together? How do you schedule all your guests so it’s an efficient process?
Since I do a daily podcast, these are the questions I get the most often: do you do them every day or do you batch them? How do you schedule all these different guests? How many do you record at a time and have in your backlog ready to go so you don't feel that pressure of, “Oh my gosh, I'm running out of shows next week”?
You absolutely want to batch your interviews. I would say, whether you're doing a daily show or just a weekly show, you want to do a month's worth of interviews in one day or maybe two days. Even though interviews aren’t hard, there is always some amount of set up involved.
- You're going to need to plug your microphone and headphones into your computer, make sure it's working okay. Sometimes if you're using Skype or some other program, it will switch the audio output from your headphones back to the speakers, you just got to check all that stuff.
- You need to prep your environment. Shut off the heating and air system so you don't have that kick-on and making that blowing fan noise in the middle of your show.
- You want to mute your phone, shut your door, put the dog out, tell your kids to leave you alone, whatever it is, get a quiet environment.
- And you need to get into the zone yourself, whether it's getting your vocal chords ready for the day, having lots of water handy, or reviewing your questions and the bios of the guests.
- Also, batching interviews once a month makes it easier to track the work flow. Sending a month's worth of files to your podcast editor, your audio editor, updating any schedules or project plans, writing or scheduling social media promotions—it’s easier to do it all together at once than to remember to do it each day or each week.
At first I was doing over 13 interviews a day. I have a short format show, a 20 minute show, so I thought five minutes of chit-chat, record for 20 minutes, five minutes of more chit-chat and exit and then start the next one. It would be really productive.
I was influenced because John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneur on Fire, he does a seven day a week show and this is how he does his schedule. I thought it was going to work out fine.
It was a disaster. I almost killed myself. I was physically fatigued at the end of that day, my voice was raw and the stress levels…What happened several times was, guests show up a few minutes late or they show up on time but they're having technical difficulties and it takes 10 minutes for them to figure out how to get their headset to work right. So as I’m interviewing them, trying to stay focused and present I the conversation, it was massively stressful as I was constantly tracking time, “Oh my gosh, I've only got seven more minutes until I need to call the next person and get it going.” This every-thirty-minute schedule didn't work for me.
Now, if I asked the same questions in every interview like JLD does, he has the same five or six questions, every 30 minutes might be possible because there's no prep. You read the bio that the guest wrote for you, you ask five questions, you don't really need to think about it or prep for the next one and you'd go.
But I don't like that. No judgment, it’s just not for me. I read all of my guests’ books, I really research their background, and I come up with three or four original questions before the show.
So, what I moved to is: I now do eight to nine interviews a day and I do it two days in a row.
This is still a pretty tough schedule, basically what I do in my day calendar is on the half hour, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, I schedule a 30 minute break. I start with my breaks then I leave the top of the hours open for 30 minutes and the guests can book themselves into any of the open time slots. Now, if someone shows up late, or there's technical difficulties, we run long, we're having a good post-show chitchat, whatever, I’m totally fine. I know I've got a half hour buffer before I need to start up the next interview. Also, the break in between gives my voice a break, I'm able to sip some water, use the bathroom, get a snack, whatever.
Now, what I do work wise in those breaks? It's become almost as important to me as the interview itself. For example, as soon as I'm done with one interview, I'll check the file and then I'll move it up into the Dropbox folder for my audio editor. Immediately, it's backed up and transferred. Every now and then, I need to write a production note, not often, but I'll say something like, “Hey, their dog started barking halfway through the show, they stopped and threw the dog out in the backyard, so please cut that part out of the show.” It may be one out of every, I don't know, 6 to 10 shows, I need to jot down some notes like that.
I’ll also use the break time for social media. I'm horrible on social media, I don't like selfies, I never can think of anything clever to put up on Twitter, but on podcast days I'm killing it because then on the break I'm like, “Whoa, just had an amazing conversation with author and leadership guru, Kim Scott. Talked about her book, Radical Candor. My number one take away was this…” and then I put a picture of her book up or me holding her book. Boy, on those days, everybody on Snapchat, Instagram Stories, etcetera, they're loving me because I'm just putting all these value bombs out.
So how much time should you schedule for your podcast interviews? Again, it depends if you're doing a long show or a short show, whether you've got to do a lot of prep or not, but just remember that it is exhausting to do these interviews. It doesn't seem like it, just sitting in a chair talking, how exhausting can it be? But it is.
My rule of thumb is make your breaks the same amount of time as your interviews, so if you've got a 30 minute interview scheduled, take a 30 minute break, if it's a 60 minute interview, use a 60 minute break, and you'll put that break time to good use.
How To Make A Podcast: How To Schedule Interviews On Your Calendar Automatically
How do you actually get all of your guests scheduled in your desired time slots without the email chain going back and forth forever?
Well, there's a lot of tools for doing this and these tools are really slick. You basically set it up so it knows what open dates you have—what you are offering. Then, you send the scheduling link to all of your guests, they click it open and they pick a slot. And this is the great part, as soon as one guest picks an open slot it's immediately updated in real time so nobody else can pick the same slot. It will automatically show as busy on everyone else’s calendar. You'll never get double booked and it appears on your calendar and on the guest's calendar. If they have to cancel the interview, they cancel on their calendar and it's automatically canceled on your calendar.
There are a lot of options to choose when it comes to automatic calendar apps. I use a tool called Calendly, which I like a lot. There's many others: Acuity Scheduling, You Can Book Me, Time Bridge, Appointy.
How To Make A Podcast: How Many Shows Ahead Should You Record; What’s Your Backog?
The other question I get a lot is how many total episodes do I record before I launched the podcast. Or, how many episodes should someone keep in the background ready to go?
When you first launch your podcast you want to launch with several episodes at once. The reason is when people discover a new show they often binge through several of them. If you only have one show up on iTunes or Stitcher, they're going to listen to your show, maybe they like it, maybe don't, it's your first show I don't know that you're going to be really at your peak just yet, and they might have to wait a week before they can remember your show or see it pop up on their feed again.
Most podcast coaches recommend that you launch with at least three shows live. I’ve seen some people launch with 10 shows, and as a culture we’re getting used to binge watching the entire season of House of Cards.
Now, for myself, I launched with three or four shows live—all available at one time—but I had an entire month's worth of shows recorded and ready to go. Again, I've got a daily show, so I had 20 shows ready to go before I said, “let's do it” because I didn't want to have that pressure of like, “Oh my gosh, next week I'm out of shows.”
Since my launch, I’ve actually built up my backlog so I had two months' worth of shows in the background. But now I realize that was too many. I'm changing that by slowing down my recording pace and thus burning down the number of shows in the bag. What would happen is I'd have a big-name guest on, like author Dan Pink, and then I say when the interview is done, “All right, Dan, your interview is going to run two months from now on…” A lot of the A-listers are promoting something like a new book or a conference or appearance. And they assumed they were going to get on the air in a week or two. Now, you can obviously bump them up and then move another guest back, and I've done that, but again, now you're sliding episodes around, your episode numbers are off, it's just a headache.
The other problem with having guests wait two months is they are less likely to promote the show to their own fans. We had an amazing interview, great rapport, we're best friends all of a sudden, and then it's two months later and they get an email from me like, “Hey, your show went live. Use these links to tell your friends about this episode.” It's been two months so they're thinking, “Oh, who's this Kevin guy? Oh yeah, I did that interview.” If they got any mojo, they're doing multiple podcast interviews a week so they're going to be like, “I think I remember a Kevin. I don't know. I can remember if this is a good show or a bad show.” I don't think they're sharing the show as often as they would otherwise.
My plan now is to always have one month, four weeks' worth of shows, in the can. That way, if I get sick or I want to go on vacation or all of a sudden my podcast audio editor quits on me, I've got some time to recover, literally myself physically, or to find new staff, new help to take something on. I sleep very well at night with a one month backlog. Then, telling people, “Hey, awesome interview. It's going to run four weeks from today.” It's a little longer than they might like, but it's within reason, it's reasonable. And if I do decide to run their show right away and bump back the other planned shows, the ripple effect isn’t quite as nasty.
How To Make A Podcast: How To Get Guests To Come On Your Show
How do you get great guests for your podcast?
This can be especially tough when you're brand new, because it's sort of a chicken and egg problem. Big guests drive big traffic, but it's the big traffic that will bring in the big guests. So how do you start getting guests when you've got literally zero listeners? You've got episode number one to fill.
First, you can position it as a positive. Tell prospective guests that your want them to be part of you inaugural 10 top guests and because it’s a launch, you’re going to be spending a lot of extra time (and money?) promoting it. A lot of people are eager to try out new podcasts, so by being on an early show they actually have an advantage over guests that come on later.
Another thing you can do is go onto iTunes, and you look up the shows that are listed in the New and Noteworthy section. Now, these are all shows that are brand new like yours, and if there are guests that are going on those shows, perhaps they would be willing to go on your brand new show as well. You need to make sure that the topic is a match, that it's the right guest for your show. You want to try to brag about any other exposure you can give them through your social media channels, maybe through your email list or something. But this is a good place to start to kind of look for guests who have done brand new shows.
You can also troll for guests that are on related shows. My new show is about leadership. So I could just Google, “Leadership podcasts,” and I'll get different media articles that'll list the top podcasts and some actual podcast webpages. I could similarly search on “leadership” in iTunes, on Stitcher, on Overcast etc. and then make a list of all the top leadership shows. Then I go through and I just look, who were all their guests over the last, say, 90 days. These are going to be guests who probably have something to promote or certainly time in their schedule recently to go on shows.
Another idea, especially when you're brand new, is to invite other podcasters–podcast hosts–onto your show. Most podcasters don't do it full time. They're authors that podcast looking to build an audience, or they're a consultant or they're a business owner, whatever it is. There are two views out there. Some of these podcasters are going to view you as a competitor and they want nothing to do with you. That's fine. They'll just ignore your email. But there does seem to be sort of a professional courtesy, like a reciprocal arrangement. It's either because they have their podcast and they're always looking for new listeners, or they just do it because they know how hard it is to start out. They remember what it was like doing show number 000 and then show number 001 themselves.
You should also reach out to authors with upcoming book launches. Authors try to do as many podcasts as they can because podcasting is like the new book tour. They will make the time and they will do as many shows as possible when they're trying to launch a new book. If you go onto Amazon.com and type your subject matter, whatever your show is about, into the search field, and then sort by publication date (by default it's going to be best match). You're going to see the most recent books…but by recent, it means the books that aren't even published yet. I'm writing this in early June of 2017 and I'm seeing books that are coming out over a year from now, in 2018.
Why is this? Publishers will upload pieces of the book, the cover and the description, onto Amazon just so that people can start ordering it early. As all the pre-release promotion is going on, if people hear about the book, even if it's not out yet, they can pre-order it up on Amazon. This tells you that the authors of these books, between now and a year from now, are going to be really busy trying to promote their new books. They're ripe for you reaching out to them. Now, if they're really big, again, they're not going to do a podcast unless it has a million listeners, 5 million listeners. But there are plenty of B-list authors who you can get with a smaller audience, and they’ll be more eager to share your show with their audience.
Then last but not least, there are booking agencies. Think of them as kind of like a PR agency, but they're paid to book guests onto shows. Now, a lot of times, these companies play both sides. They're collecting money from guests who want to be on shows and sometimes they're collecting money from the podcasters to go find guests, to go get guests for them. You don't really care which side, and you can choose. I've never paid to be a guest or to have a guest. But plenty of people do. I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
Here are some companies that book podcast guests: Interview Connections, Radio Guest List, Podcast Guests dot com, and Interview Valet. These are all companies that are working with guests one way or another. You reach out. Introduce yourself. Let them know about your show, and hopefully they can find guests right out of their catalog, right out of their base, to get you hooked up right away.
I think the biggest thing is just remember to be patient. It can be tough for your first ten episodes. As an author I used to say yes to every interview request that was out there, partly because I wanted to help people out, partly because I just want to spread the message that I have. So if I can help even one person, it's great, and when I have a book launch, I want to be very aggressive. But in the last, I don't know, nine to 12 months, I have been so, so busy. I get so many requests for interviews and comments and podcasts. I cannot do them all. I’ve become more selective. If someone says, “Hey, will you be my fifth guest on episode number five?” I'll say no to that. But if they come back and they say, “Hey, we're on episode 20. We're getting xxxx number of downloads per show. We could also mention you on our Facebook page, et cetera,” I'm much more likely to do that.
So just be patient. You need to get through that trial period. Get whoever you can to come on your show. Your clients, your partners, anybody you've worked with in the past, anybody that you can get on to get through that first wave of ten, and then it's going to start to get easier and easier the more shows you put out. Before you know it, you're going to be the one saying no. I'm now at a point after releasing, I don't know, 68 episodes, where every single day there is an author or a consultant or an executive coach or a CEO who's emailing me asking if they can be a guest. You'll get there too. You just got to slog through the slow times in your first dozen shows.
How To Make A Podcast: An Email Template To Invite Guests Onto Your Show
So what do you say to potential guests to invite them onto your podcast. Like literally, what words are you putting into the email to try to convince them to come onto your show? It's super important when you're first starting out and kind of struggling to get good guests.
Here's an example of what not to do. This is an email that I received, someone asking me to come on to his show.
Hello Kevin, I'm writing to ask would you consider appearing as a guest on my podcast on book publishing? We could discuss your writing and experience. Depending on your schedule it would be great if we could set up some time in the first half of May on a Tuesday or a Thursday. I would be happy to send you the format. I'm writing to you following the discussion on Pat Flynn's Facebook group.
There's a lot wrong with this pitch. I wonder, this person isn't writing even a grammatically proper email, so how good is their show going to be? I don't know anything about their show. Is it the first episode, is it the hundredth episode? Do they have a million fans? Do they have zero fans? I have no idea what this reference to Pat Flynn's Facebook group is. So this would be one that I would say no to or even just delete.
Now this pitch I got is a bit stronger. There's a lot of good in this example. The subject line is “Invite To” and then the show name.
Hi Kevin, love your work and your podcast. I was wondering if you'd like to join me on my podcast for one to two hours. I'm currently seeing over 20,000 downloads per month. My podcast is focused on optimizing productivity and health, business, lifestyle. My guests include [guest names]. I would love to get into the details of your own productivity principles and how you've taken the advice and made it your own. Let me know if you're interested and I'll email you a link.
He opens with some flattery, which is nice. He includes a link to his podcast so I can just click it to see exactly what the show is about. The one to two hours is of course horrible because that is a huge chunk of time, but at least he mentioned the duration. Now if he's doing a weekly show, in my mind, that means he's getting about 5,000 downloads per week. It's not a huge show, but I think about it how often do I get a chance to get my message in front of 5,000 people? So it's a pretty good number.
He rattles off a bunch of guests names and I recognize some of these names including David Allen who has a sort of directly competing productivity book, Getting Things Done. So there's a lot to like in this.
Now this next one is a very strong email. The subject line says “guest on hit show, 150,000 audience.” Most people are going to open an email like that. I can be a guest on a hit show with 150,000 people. The reality is, because I'm a podcaster myself, I'm suspicious of that 150 number. Is he saying it's 150,000 listeners per episode? I doubt it. Does it mean 150,000 in a month, which is kind of a standard measure. Or is it lifetime? And if it's a lifetime number, has he been around for one month, one year, three years? So that 150 really doesn't mean anything to me, but it's still a great subject line. His email:
Hello Kevin, my name is… I'm writing today to invite you onto the hit podcast show, [Podcast Name]. It's been featured on the front page of iTunes, ranked number one in “New and Noteworthy.” We carefully choose our guests and we've had on Jack Canfield, Maryanne Williamson and he goes on.
We'd love to have you on the show. It's simple. We meet on Skype 15 to 20 minutes. We produce and master the track, promote it and you get more exposure and fans. If it's a fit, feel free to book your slot here, and he's got a scheduling link.
So again, he's basically showing credibility, saying “hit show,” “new and noteworthy” and look at all these other guests we’ve had on. I love the line, “it’s simple.” This is what it comes down to. Does your potential guest think the exposure you’ll give them is worth the time and headache. Saying “it’s simple” and “15 to 20 minutes” makes it far easier to say yes than the requests I get about doing a rehearsal the day before, reserving 90 minutes of time.
Here's what I do to invite guests. My subject line when I'm reaching out to someone is “Interview Request.” I don't think there's anybody that's not going to open that email or have their assistant or their someone open that. Because it could be the New York Times asking for an interview. It could be Time Magazine. It could be CNN. If I say, “Podcast Guest Request,” “Podcast Interview,” there's a lot of people out there who just won't do podcasts. So I want them to open the emails. That's why I keep it really short.
This email below is what I actually sent to a best selling author.
I start with a little bit of rapport. It just so happens, this author lives not too far from me and we share the same publisher. You're not going to always have that, but you can look up your guest on LinkedIn and you can talk about anything in common: you went to the same college, or grew up in the same state, or love the same sports team, or you just a fan of their book. You're a fan of their work.
Then I'm saying, “Reaching out to request a 20 minute interview.” So it's short, he immediately knows, okay, only 20 minutes of my time via Skype. Doesn't have to be in person. Doesn't have to put on a suit, doesn't have to travel, doesn't have to entertain me, to discuss, “Steal the Show,” which is his latest book.
In one sentence, I've built rapport, said this a super easy thing for you to do to promote your book. Now, I will expand on that to anchor the benefits.
The print version of the interview will run on Forbes, Huffington Post, Goodman Project. The recorded audio will run as the LEADx show with Kevin Kruse via podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.
You don’t need to have my platform to offer similar benefits. You can take transcripts of the interview and run them on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on Medium, on your own blog. You can do it on Medium. It's just a way until you have a lot of listeners to fluff up the exposure. Now this person's thinking 20 minutes of my time and it's not just a podcast that maybe people listen to, maybe not. But it's also going to appear in these other places.
And then I say “Reach:” with 50,000 article views and podcast listens. 50,000 email subscribers. 45,000 social media. Now you're not going to have these kinds of numbers at first probably. You might want to talk about lifetime total downloads, total downloads per month, or maybe it's a new podcast but you have a big email list. Well then you brag about your email list size.
That's it. That's how you invite people to come onto your show. Build rapport. Get them with the ask right up front. Make sure they know there's not a big request of the time. Let them know if it's running in any other print areas or social media. Mention your reach if you have it and then go for the close in your final credibility.
How To Make A Podcast: What To Email Guests Before And After Their Interview
So what do you email to your guests before and after the podcast interview? In other words, what is the communication chain to get them onto the show and what happens after the show?
I use a four email sequence.
The first email, of course, is just inviting them onto the show and giving them the calendar link.
I send the second email seven days before the interview, mainly to remind them of the date and time but also to urge them to use a headset for better audio quality. If you're using Skype as your recording tool, remind them that it's audio only or remind them that it's video, if it is video, and give them your Skype handle so they'll know to expect or to receive or to accept your call when you put it through.
And I like to give the interview questions in advance. Not everybody likes to do that. Not everybody is that formal with their interviews. As a guest, I've probably been interviewed over a hundred times at this point, I always appreciate seeing the questions in advance just so I'll know which book are they asking me about, which chapters, which angles. I just never want to be caught flat footed on that.
In this same email at the very bottom I just include a simple legal release. I don't ask for anybody to sign anything. But there's a paragraph that says:
“Finally, by participating in the LEADx Interview, you agree to allow LEADx LLC to record, distribute, and disseminate the show in any manner. This includes the rights to the content for audio broadcast, articles, speeches, books, and in all other media for public distribution.”
Now look, they've agreed to come on your show. They want the publicity. I don't think anybody's ever really had a problem with rights. But technically, you really can't use someone's image or name or material unless they've given you explicit permission. Because I like to take my podcast interview and turn it into a YouTube video and put it into social media and I plan to take some of their answers and maybe put it into a future book, I just don't ever want the headache of somebody … I don't think they're going to read it and say, “Hey, Kevin's making money off my interview and I want some of that money.” It could happen. I'm maybe more concerned about them saying something on the podcast and then I republish it a year or two or five years later, and they no longer believe that or remember saying it and they're maybe going to threaten me or legally threaten and say I don't have the right to release their remarks. So just to protect myself, to avoid that hassle, I make sure I put this final legal release in this second email.
The third email, 24 hours before the interview itself, is another reminder. “Hey, you've got your interview tomorrow at this time. Kevin's going to reach out from Kevin-Kruse on Skype. It's audio only. It's a short interview. Schedule yourself 30 minutes.” And then I will repeat the questions again. People don't open all of their emails, they open them and they lose them. Seven days ago was a long time ago, they might have forgotten. So I just repeat the questions if I have them in there. If you're using scheduling software, like Calendly, you will get this automated reminder in their system. So you would just configure this email in their system. It's not one you would send out yourself.
What happens when their interview actually goes live?
Well that's the fourth and final email and it basically says, “Hey, your interview is now live. Here's the link.” So they can check it out and they can copy it and send it to their friends. And then I explicitly ask. I say, “It would be great if you could a PS to your next email newsletter letting your fans know about this interview.” Then I give them a statement that they could just cut and paste. If you tell them, “We hope you'll blast your email list.” Or “We hope you'll send out a newsletter about this,” I mean, that's a lot more work, and if they're doing a lot of interviews they might not want to blast their audience with every single interview. But usually they've got their own editorial schedule, they know what they're sending their audience. It's not hard to just add a one sentence PS at the end of whatever newsletter they were going to send anyway.
Then for social media, I say, “We encourage you to share on social media.” And then I use these click to share links so they can click it. The Twitter one will automatically pop open a Twitter window ready to go. Same with LinkedIn and Facebook.
That's it. It's a four email sequence to make sure that they show up for the right time all ready to go and that they do their part to promote the show.
How To Make A Podcast: How To Be A Great Podcast Host
So, how can you be a great podcast host, a great interviewer?
First, you want to be high energy. Your guests will feed off of that energy and your listeners will hear it and feel it themselves.
Second, you need to do your research. Be prepared. I've gone onto shows and been interviewed myself and it was clear that the host was scrambling just to make the time slot and could barely remember what books I've written or who I was. Doesn't put me in a great state of mind. Doesn't make me want to give my all with my answers, because if I'm not important enough for them and their show then what am I doing there to begin with?
Third, make damn sure your equipment is working right before the guest is with you. Again, I've had plenty of times, more times than I can count, where I as the guest have shown up on time with my equipment working and then literally we've wasted 30 minutes as they fiddled with their Skype or their microphone or whatever trying to get it to work right.
Fourth, before the show, just ask the guest if there's anything specific that they want to mention. Often the guest will have something very specific they need to plug or something that they want to talk about on the air. I think that when you know that you can ask the questions to sort of walk them into it naturally so it doesn't just sound like a canned plug. Remind them how long the interview's going to be, make sure they got the questions, that all the questions are all right, is there anything else they want you to ask them, again, to get out a key message.
After the interview, assuming they've done a good job, thank them and be specific. Let them know which answer was the best or how they surprised you or which part of the interview is going to mean the most to your audience. People are doing this to get a message out. It's great to compliment them when they've done a good job.
I always end by saying, “Listen, it means a lot that you've come onto my show. I really appreciate it. You now have a friend for life so if you ever have something special you want to get some extra eyeballs on, you know, whether that's a new blog post, article, book, whatever it is, let me know and I'll hit my social media audience.” They almost never do, it's not like I'm getting bombarded with requests or bombarding my audience, but just letting them know that I'm not one-and-done, I'm not just going to forget about them, I am here to work with them over the long-term. It's true.
I always try to send a hand-written thank you note, too. When they fill out a form before the show, like when they accept the interview and I'm asking for their name and their email and all that stuff, I just have a little field that says, “What's your regular snail mail address?” And in parentheses it says, “Kevin has been known to send hand-written thank you notes.” I'd say about half the guests will give me their address and I do. I'm a big believer in hand-written thank you notes. I'm in this for the long haul. I think if they receive a hand-written note from me, I bet only 1 out of 50 podcast hosts do that, so it just helps to anchor me and build up a little law of reciprocity so that, when the show goes live, hopefully they'll be a little more likely to spread the word and hopefully they'll be more likely to come on the show again when they know it was a good experience.
If you found this article helpful in any way I hope you'll hop on over to iTunes and subscribe and rate “The LEADx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse”.