Reading is essential part of growing and being in tune with what you do. As some of us go about our daily lives much like Jeff he found himself just not enjoying reading much at all. However, in 2003 that all changed when he was working for a radio company. The leader of the company decided that the heads of the departments were going to read important, world-changing, and life changing business books together and meet about them weekly.
Jeff was a stranger to the world known as business books. They were just not on his radar and something that he now is ashamed to say. So when he opened up his first business book called the “Purple Cow “ by Seth Godin he just fell in love with reading again. Now, as a host of the podcast Read to Lead, he is reading fifty plus books a year,. However, going from not reading to really enjoying books was a huge life change. He realized by reading that he was truly missing out. One of the best quotes from Dan Miller that was on one of his very first podcast is: “If it ever becomes clear that I stop learning, dig a hole and push me in because I am of no use to anybody”, and that is how he approaches life. It is one thing to fill your head with knowledge and it is a different thing to turn it into wisdom and you do that by learning and helping people.
Let’s talk about the guest and how they can make your podcast go from good to great. Jeff’s biggest honor and 10 year journey led him to having Seth Godin on his show. One would think that you just make a call someone up and they agree to be a guest on your show. However, Seth is very selective in the types of interviews he does, so it was all about timing in getting him to accept the invitation.
One thing that he realized is that he was going to have to create creditability of himself and his show in order to have established names on his show. He also realized that when it comes to authors, if you can ask when they have a new book coming out it makes the process a whole lot easier. The first contact that he makes with a guest for his podcast is sent via e-mail. He puts research into the request by learning about that person and establishing a personal connection. A personal connection is being in their personal community by connecting with them via social media or different outlets that they are a part of so when you do ask the author to be a guest they can make that connection. By following different people who you want to be a part of your podcast it allows you to determine when the best time to connect with the guest and their upcoming events. Most importantly you need to be creative and think outside the box sometimes and it leads to opportunities.
Talk about the steps to make a podcast successful. What makes a great intro and extro? That first sixty seconds is the most important and it is the first thing that people hear. However, he disagrees with some that feel that you have to get to the content as fast as you can. What is most important about the intro is reeling your listeners into the topic of the show and that has to be present in the first sixty seconds of the show. It starts by answering the question first and foremost in their minds “what’s in it for me”? We can not be scared to state our why in those first seconds of the podcast that it may turn someone away because the purpose is to inform the listener of what the message is. The opposite of love is not hate it is indifference.
What do you recommend about the detail to an interview? The best interviews are the ones that have had the most preparation before the interview. If the desire is to turn your podcast into a vocation then in order to stand out and rise to the top then you are going to have to do things that most podcasters are not doing or taking the time to do. For example, reading a book that the guest has written. That does not mean reading it from cover to cover but getting deep enough into the reading that you have a very good understanding and can develop some questions off of the reading.
The questions that you develop off of the research that you do, do you stick by them or do you allow for diversion? Using the questions as a guide; the questions are guide not only for you but also for your guest. Some guest’s read them and others do not. What it allows you to do then is really just listen to the guest and be able to work off of what they are speaking about. It also allows the ability for unplanned questions depending on where the conversation goes.
If the conversation does not form questions based on the topic then there is a forced question ready in case it is needed. If you allow yourself to think through what questions you want to ask then it allows the conversation not to go down the rabbit hole, so to speak. In order not to sound like you are reading questions off of a list if you keep rehearsing the questions, it will start to sound natural and you will hear it in your conversation as well as the way you present yourself to the guest. It is best to never think of your guest as a co-host because the length of time that you talk vs. the length of time that your guest talks should be much longer. You want to be the one to ask the next great question and they are there to be the star.
What have you done to build your community solely around your podcast using call to action? It is all about how you position the request. If you are making a request to a visit to your website make the request more indirect. Making it all about what you have done for your listener vs. what your listener can do for you. In order to get your audience engaged between you and them, make sure that you are responding to your blog post, interacting with your followers on twitter. Using a group page on face book has allowed more interaction with followers and the ability to create a sense of community around the read to lead program. Keep your conversation very intimate when it comes to your e-mails and communication. Speaking to one-person verse to the group as a whole makes a reader feel like you have their attention. The biggest factor is to keep them engaged from the moment that you as the host start talking to the end of the podcast as if you are talking to them and they are on the journey with you.
Can you tell us about your event that you have coming up in the Nashville, TN area? Start Podcasting Today it is an all day workshop on February 24, 2015 that if you are in the Nashville area you will want to join.
Aside from the workshop Jeff also is a one on one coach with new and upcoming podcasters. Most of his clients have yet to launch but some have launched their podcast using topics such as what we covered. It is all about being able to help people be able to make their podcast pop and get noticed.
More about Jeff Brown - He is a 26-year radio industry veteran, a career that includes co-hosting an award-winning and nationally syndicated morning show.
He entered podcasting in 2013 with the launch of the Read to Lead Podcast where he has interviewed New York Times bestselling authors like Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk and Dan Miller among others.
In early 2014, Jeff launched Podcaster Academy, an online podcasting course that has since evolved into one-on-one, customized podcast coaching. He also co-founded PodServ, a done-for-you podcasting service with partner John Dennis, last July.
Jeff and his wife of 13 years, Annie, live just outside Nashville, TN with their two miniature Dachshunds, Fritz and Frank.
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