My favorite time of day is that 30-minute window to an hour where I get started on my morning routine all while tuning in to my favorite podcast. I don’t know about you but listening to a podcast as I prepare breakfast, take a shower, and get dressed makes me feel so productive. The podcasting industry is continuing to grow, and people everywhere are realizing that having a podcast can build your authority and power your influence. So today, Scout Sobel, the go-to expert for all things podcasting, joins us to talk all about growing your new podcast and pitching yourself as a guest.
Growing Your New Podcast and Pitching Yourself as a Guest
I don’t refer to Scout as the go-to podcast expert just because I felt like it. Scout is a co-host of the top-rated “Okay Sis” podcast and the host of her own SCOUT podcast. She’s also the founder of Scout’s Agency, a company that focuses on podcast PR for women entrepreneurs, podcasters, and brands.
Aside from the podcasting street cred, she recently launched her first book titled “The Emotional Entrepreneur.” This book details her experiences navigating the world of entrepreneurship while living with bipolar disorder for the last 15 years.
Long story short: Scout is the real deal.
Now that you have reason to trust her advice, let’s dive right into the first question I know you have…
Reasons to Start a Podcast
There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this (or tuning into this episode), you have a small fire burning in the back of your brain that whispers “you should start a podcast.” If you’ve been on the fence about adding another platform to your marketing strategy, it’s good to ask “what’s the benefit of having my own podcast?”
For one, podcasting is a more reliable strategy than your social media accounts. Just like a blog or an email list, you have more control over reaching your podcast listenership and audience. Next, podcasting is a very intimate way of connecting with your audience. Tuning into a 30-minute long episode where your audience gets to hear you speak just hits a little more intimately than an Instagram post does.
On top of that, Scout shares that “I really think listeners are craving more personal details from the host as well. So I think podcasting is such a great way to establish a personal brand with yourself and an even deeper connection as a podcast host with your community.”
And if that isn’t enough to convince you, Scout shares some observations from her experience in the podcasting world, “I think everyone is recognizing how powerful podcasts are. They’re going on a lot of podcasts and we see a lot of really big figures making podcast rounds. We’ve seen podcasts infiltrate celebrity culture, and we’ve seen influencers take advantage of the podcasting space.”
How do You Start a Podcast Successfully?
Adding a podcast to your content arsenal is a huge undertaking. And if you’re ready to start your own podcast, I know you’ll want to launch it successfully. The first thing you need to commit to is consistency. “Do not start a show if you’re not going to come out with an episode every week when you say you are. Because you will not have an audience after a while.” Scout warns.
As for tangible tips for launching a successful podcast, Scout says…
- Plan your launch accordingly – it takes Apple podcasts two weeks to approve your show, so lay out an appropriate launch plan and timeline,
- Focus on your ratings – “In a world where numbers are so public, the podcasting industry is one where it’s quite private.” While no one is looking at the number of downloads, the only number that truly matters when pitching for guests and ads is your ratings. “The minute you launch your podcast, you’re emailing your entire network. You are texting every single one of your friends with a link and you say ‘if you want to come to my house ever again, you must rate my podcast.’”
- Get comfortable with solo episodes – “Get comfortable behind the mic, just you. Because eventually, people come and go for guests. But they stay for you.” So while interviewing guests can be a format you implement on your podcast, Scout suggests having a solo episode strategy.
- Be intentional about your first episode – “When you are two years down the line into your podcast, new listeners will come and they will go to your first episode. So make sure that your first episode isn’t just a random interview.” Instead, Scout suggests having a 20-30 minute long episode that dives into your backstory, what you do, and who you are.
What You Need to Know About Monetizing Your Podcast
Another question you might have before starting a podcast is how does monetization work? Should you place brand-sponsored ads in your podcast? And if you are interested in doing so, how do you go about it? Buckle up because Scout’s answer might surprise you.
“Do not even think about monetization. In fact, I would frame the way you think about podcast monetization.” If your podcast exists as an extension of your business and your service, Scout strongly advises against traditional ad placements.
“Because I want to really harness the purchasing power of my community towards my other services. It is not worth it for me to get a couple of hundred dollars to have someone spend money on someone else’s vitamins. I think the way to go if you have a business and a brand is to make your own podcast ad-free and the ads are your other business services.”
It’s a different story if you have a lifestyle podcast like “Okay Sis”. In that case, you can always work with an ad agency to secure brand-sponsored ads. But keep in mind that agencies require anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 downloads before working with you. If this is a route you’d like to explore, Scout says that some smaller brands would be open to working on ad placement privately, even if you have 500 downloads.
Tips for Increasing Your Podcast Downloads
Whether ads are on the horizon for you, increasing your podcast downloads is kind of a “duh” goal. Of course, I couldn’t let Scout end the episode without sharing a few tactical tips for increasing your downloads.
- Social media – We all know the power of social media. Be sure to announce new episodes and send all podcast social media assets to your guests ahead of time. This will allow your guests to then post and promote your show.
- TikTok and Reels – “There is power in recording your podcast and putting them on TikTok. But realize it takes months of having that strategy implemented very well.”
But the most effective way to grow your podcast and increase downloads is *drumroll*…
Being a guest on other podcasts. Period.
“if you’re talking directly to podcast listeners, there’s no need to convert behaviors to tell them what a podcast is. They already know and they’re hungry for more. So being a guest on a podcast is the number one way to increase your podcast downloads, to sell books, to sell courses, etc…”
Pitching Yourself as a Guest on Podcasts
Pitching yourself as a guest on other podcasts is honestly a win-win. Maybe you’re not ready to take on the commitment of starting your own podcast, but you still want the exposure it brings. Whether you want to establish your own show or tap into the world of podcasting without the commitment, you need to pitch yourself to be a guest on podcasts.
“My main tip is to get really comfortable talking about yourself and bragging. Truly, it’s a bragging situation.”
Scout says don’t hold back on the shiniest parts of yourself when you’re sending a pitch just because you’re uncomfortable about hyping yourself up. She suggests sitting down and writing the most impressive things about you and your life.
“And don’t beat yourself up if you think they’re not good enough. I promise you they’re shinier than you think they are. Really highlight your accomplishments in your pitch and don’t dim yourself down. No one has fucking time for that anymore. I want you to tell the truth about how awesome you are in your pitch.”
Tapping Into the Podcasting World
Podcasting is one of the best ways to build authority and trust with your audience. Whether you’re planning on launching a podcast of your own, or you want to land more placements as a guest on podcasts, Scout is the woman you want to learn from. So warm up your vocal cords and get ready to show the podcasting world what you’re all about.
Now I want to know: will I be seeing your new show on Apple Podcasts soon? Or will I be catching you making your rounds on the podcasting circuit?
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Scout’s website: https://www.scoutsobel.com/
Get Yourself as a Guest on Podcasts course: https://scoutsagency.teachable.com/p/get-yourself-as-a-guest-on-podcasts/ (get 20% off with code HERLIFEBYDESIGN)