The Top 10 Things I Learned in My First 100 Podcast Episodes Max Branstetter

The Top 10 Things I Learned in My First 100 Podcast Episodes

This summer I released the 100th episode of the Wild Business Growth Podcast. While I typically remain focused on the current week’s episode and the plan for the next week, it was a special time to reflect on the beautiful roller coaster of a journey podcasting has been. I’ve picked up a thing or two about podcasting since releasing the first weekly episode on August 3, 2018. Here are the Top 10 things I’ve learned in these first 100 episodes:

1. Podcasting is an incredible networking tool

Podcasting may be the best networking tool on the planet. Within the first few episodes I recorded, I started getting introduced to new potential podcast guests. When you’re interviewing someone new for every podcast episode, that’s potentially a new business contact every single week. You never know what that new contact might mean for you, your business, or someone else in your network. You also may be one degree closer to that contact who will change your life.

2. Interviewing is all about listening

You can prepare all you want for an upcoming podcast interview. Listening is the thing that’s going to make it a phenomenal interview. When your guest is speaking, truly listen to the words they say and the stories they tell. Active listening creates unshakable rapport between you and your guest, helps you determine when to probe and when to move the interview along, and sets you up for the perfect response to your guest.

3. Finding podcast guests is a constant effort

There are thousands of people who could make great guests for your podcast. In order to find them, you need to work for it – every week. Social media is the backbone, and allows you to connect with potential guests you previously would have never been able to get in touch with. Determine who would be the ideal guest for your podcast, then keep your eyes and ears open for anyone who could be a great fit. Voice messages on Instagram DMs, emails, and tweets are all fantastic ways to capture attention and pitch a potential podcast guest. Keep a list of potential guests on your Notes app or in Google Drive so you can stay organized.

4. Stay ahead of your podcast release schedule

Which of these adds more stress to your life:

  • Trying to find a last-minute podcast guest every week
  • Having podcast episodes recorded 4-6 weeks in advance of publishing

Once you get ahead – and stay ahead – of your schedule, your “podcasting happiness” significantly increases and “podcasting stress” is significantly reduced. Never go too many weeks in a row without reaching out to potential podcast guests.

5. The best way to prep for a podcast interview is listening to podcasts

You can learn more about a potential podcast guest by listening to them in one podcast episode than you can spending hours researching their site or social media pages. There’s truly not a better way to know someone and understand their background and personality than listening to them on other podcasts. If they’ve never been on a podcast, you can still do all the research online you want – and hey, you’re about to become the first podcaster to ever feature this person.

6. Your best podcast voice is your normal voice

If you listen to the first ~30 episodes of the Wild Business Growth Podcast, you’ll notice my voice is overly-forced, especially in the intros and outros. When you start a podcast, you have a natural tendency to want to share your podcast with the world, shout it from the rooftops, and in turn shout your “announcer voice” into the microphone. That’s the thing – the microphone already amplifies your voice. The best thing you can do is speak normally into the microphone, just as you talk every day in person. And yes, it took me ~30 episodes to talk like my normal self.

7. Don’t feel bad about sharing out your episode on social media

As a new podcaster, you’ll likely start to feel like you’re sharing out your podcast episodes too much on social media, and that your followers are getting annoyed by you. You have to think about it from your followers’ perspective: your posts and Stories are a tiiiiiiny fraction of a percentage of the posts they’re seeing that day. You should be proud of your episodes and your podcast. Every post or Story is another opportunity for someone to discover your podcast, and it could be just what they need in that moment.

8. Podcast editing takes a ton of time but is very necessary

If you heard the raw recordings of the Wild Business Growth Podcast, you would think I’m incapable of speaking in public. You would also be wondering why my mic is so much louder than the guest’s mic. And wondering where the music and transitions are. Podcast editing takes hours (multiple hours) every single week. It also has a funny effect on your sense of time while you’re editing, as every stop-and-start extends the editing time overall. But effective podcast editing makes the difference between a professional-sounding, high-quality podcast episode and one that makes your listeners question your commitment to podcasting.

9. You will hear from your podcast listeners far less frequently than you think

To this day, there are some episodes I release where I don’t hear a single ounce of feedback from listeners (other than my girlfriend and my parents, after I ask them their feedback). And that’s perfectly okay. That doesn’t mean your listeners didn’t like it, and that doesn’t mean they didn’t listen to it. Think about it: do you reach out to the podcast host every time you listen to their latest episode? Imagine how much time that would take. People are busy. And trust me, many more people are enjoying listening to each of your podcast episodes than those who reach out to you. Over time, you’ll find out about loyal listeners who you had no idea have been tuning in for years.

10. Podcasting is incredibly fun. Make sure it stays that way

There’s a period after I finish recording every single one of my podcast interviews that I can’t stop smiling. If that didn’t happen, I would not be podcasting. Podcasting can be one of the most fun things you’ll ever decide to do. Meeting people you never thought you’d meet, taking you to places you never thought you’d go, engaging with listeners you didn’t even know existed, seeing business results come to fruition. It’s an incredible medium, and you need to make sure you’re having fun throughout your podcasting journey. If you’re not having fun, it’s way too big a time and effort commitment to stomach. Figure out what you want to do yourself and what you want to outsource, pod on, and have fun.

Bonus: People love corny jokes

It’s part of my pre-interview checklist to tell the podcast guest, “I apologize in advance for any dad jokes. I can’t turn that off.” Every single guest has responded positively to that comment, often laughing and sometimes even saying, “I’m a dad myself” or “We are on the same wavelength.” No matter the theme or topic for your podcast, people like to laugh and people love jokes, especially corny jokes and dad jokes. So don’t worry about turning them off.

Episode 100 Special of the Wild Business Growth Podcast

I hope you found value, smiles, and eye rolls in the Top 10 things I learned in my first 100 podcast episodes. I’m truly grateful for everything that’s come out of the podcasting world, and I can’t wait for the next 100 episodes. Feel free to reach me any time with podcasting questions or anything else at . And here’s the Episode 100 Special if you’d like to get Wild:

Wild Business Growth Podcast Episode 100 Special Max Branstetter

4 Comments

  1. These are great points, Max. A few more things that we’ve both learned re podcasting are:
    1. Podcasts can be a powerful marketing tool to improve SEO results while positioning the podcast host as an expert in their industry.
    2. We all prefer to buy from people we know and trust. Podcasts provide great insight into the participants’ personalities and the way they think. As you’ve said, you can learn more about a person by listening to them on a podcast than you can with internet research.

  2. […] [30:08] Joe Pulizzi on the Wild Business Growth Podcast and in the “Episode 100 Special“ […]

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