One of the most effective and engaging ways to accelerate brand growth and build a strong following is launching your very own podcast show. It serves as a channel to send your message out into the world, make a good impression, and establish yourself as a highly trusted business. David Lykken sits down with Tom Hazzard of Podetize to learn the ropes of starting an engaging podcast. Tom explains why podcasters should pay more attention to impact and value, not just the number of downloads, voice quality, or episode length. He also explains how to harness the power of verbal SEO to expand podcast reach and become easily searchable on the vast pages of Google.
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Building A Strong Community And Accelerating Business Growth Through Podcasting With Tom Hazzard Of Podetize
I’m excited about podcasting. You know I’m a fan of podcasts. We have been doing it only for fourteen years, but we are finding we get a real audience as a result of it. We are so grateful to have you as a listener. We are encouraging more and more of our clients to get into launching their own podcasts. I’ve struggled to find the right partner, to be honest with you, in the podcasting world, and someone who will do what I need to be done at the level of excellence that I insist to being done at.
In this episode, we have that person and that company on. I’m excited to share this interview with you, folks. If you don’t think you have a voice for podcasting, that’s fine, but we are going to challenge you. Everyone needs to be creating a podcast and doing it. Joining us, the CTO and Cofounder of the podcast. We are thrilled to have Tom Hazzard here with us. Tom, it’s good to have you.
Thank you so much, David. It’s a pleasure to be with you today. You are so enthusiastic. I love it. You are very passionate about podcasting, I have to say. I know we’ve known each other only a short time. I’m looking forward to a wonderful long-term relationship, and I believe it’s going to happen because you are so passionate. I don’t have to worry that you are going to not record, and that’s the one thing. I encounter people who have the best intentions, but for whatever reason, they are either apprehensive or they don’t get to it. They stay in this place of permanent potential, and then I can’t help them.
Let’s start with the beginning. Podcasting, when I started years ago, was still in its infancy. It had been around, but talk about an exponential, crazy amount of growth. Talk a little bit about the history of podcasting. We don’t need to turn this into a History class, but it’s important to understand how much growth there has been.
You are right, David. There has been a tremendous growth. There had been a couple of surges of it. I remember the very first time a friend of mine and his wife visited my home. This was back in 2003 or something. He was an early adopter, and he brought this iPod. I’m like, “What is this?” “You have your music on this device. You don’t have to spin CDs anymore, records, tapes, or whatever. You also could listen to this thing called podcasts.” I’m like, “Tell me about that.”
It’s come such a long way from those early days when you had to do everything yourself because there wasn’t an industry around it. It was pretty difficult and very technical. Even if you are okay with recording your content and publishing it yourself, but putting it in the right condition where you could put it out on the apps, which at that time only iTunes was all it was on. Fast forward now, 17-ish or 18 years from the early days, and obviously, podcast listenership has gone from a very niche listener market of a few 100,000 people way back to now more than 100 million Americans listening to podcasts on a monthly basis.
I believe around 75 million of them are listening regularly to between 5 to 7 different shows. Early on here, when I talk about a podcast, I’m talking about a show, not an episode. Sometimes some of these terms get confusing. If I talk about an episode, you are talking about, “You get one maybe weekly or something.”
It’s important that we lay a foundation of knowledge and terminology as we encourage people to get into this. I want to ask you this. Why did you get into it? What’s your why?
I cannot completely take credit for why I got into it. I have to credit my wife, Tracy, who is also the CEO of our company. She did the initial research. We were entrepreneurs. We had our own business at the time. This was back in 2013 or so. We were trying to find a way to build community. We were trying to find a way to reach more people and raise awareness of who we are and what we did. She did some research, and then I also jumped on that bandwagon and did some research. Between the two of us, we read two dozen books about podcasting. We listened to even more, maybe three dozen episodes of podcasts about podcasting.
I’m more of a video guy. I watched probably 50 different videos about podcasts. We did all this research for 6 or 8 months and then decided, “There’s something here. We want to give it a try.” The planning and execution took another 4 to 6 months because we had to do a lot of it ourselves in terms of the planning. There are a lot of different elements and materials that you have to create to be able to launch a podcast and register it on the listening apps.
There was also the equipment and recording it. At the time, I spent probably $1,500 on equipment for getting ready to record. Now, you don’t need to do that. A typical podcaster is spending $100 on a high-quality microphone. It probably doesn’t have to be quite that much. With modern computer technology, the way things have advanced, it is all you need. We planned and then had employees working for us who would help with certain things and preparation. We hired other people to do the audio editing. We were doing videos and video editing. It was complex, and we built a team to do it.
It was important and the only way that we could do it back then. It wasn’t like today where you have all different kinds of ads coming to you on LinkedIn or Facebook with providers that do part of it or all of it. As we did it though, we were business people that needed some market and to grow our brand. That was why we got into it. It’s to raise awareness for who we are and what we did.
As we did that, we were reading all the different gurus in podcasting. They all would tell you a part of the story, but reading between the lines, we could tell they were all holding something back. They weren’t being completely transparent about everything you need to do to be successful, and some of them maybe didn’t know. As we experimented, we discovered many things that took it from being creative and providing value and content to others over an audio platform as an audio show.
For us, it became much more than that. It was a way to generate content that we would have materials, graphics, clips, and things to share on social media. It became a way to fuel our website for organic traffic from Google searches. It became so many more things that nobody was talking about and sharing with you how to do. At first, it was, “We are doing it better than everybody else. We are getting more out of it. We are marketing and growing our brand.”
What ended up happening to us is as podcasting continued to grow and became more trendy, and it wasn’t just a trend or a fad, it’s now become a primary vehicle that a lot of people want to consume their content through. They can do it while they are driving. I do it while I’m at the gym. There are many benefits to it as a medium. We’ve got to the point where other people in business like you and me, David, how we met and introduced, other people would say, “Tom, that’s great what you guys are doing. Could you do that for me?”
At first, I was like, “That’s not the business I’m in.” At that time, it wasn’t but then I realized, “I’m spending thousands of dollars every month for this team and these resources. If I have somebody else I can leverage those resources against them, I would reduce my costs. Maybe we can try that.” It became 1, 5, and then 12. Finally, by 2016, it is its own business. It’s funny because, at the time, I mentioned we had another business we were operating, and our podcast was just one piece of that. It’s one thing we did to market and grow our brand.
It got to the point where it was getting so big, and then we had some dedicated employees to it where I’m like, “Tracy, this is a business. This is emerging. There’s an opportunity here.” There was enough we were doing that was unique. We weren’t just doing the same thing everybody else was doing. We had some proprietary processes and things we were doing that made podcasting more effective for the people that do it, including ourselves.
It made sense, and I’m like, “Tracy, we are entrepreneurs. We are business people. This business could be big. It could be a seven-figure business in a year.” She was like, “I don’t know.” I was like, “Tracy, if we don’t do this, what kind of entrepreneurs are we?” I wanted to experiment, and it was an experiment. It took some pushing, but she agreed. For a while there, I was the CEO and I ran everything. I was the Chief Everything Officer because it was a very small entity.
It was in May of 2017 when we had a dozen full-time employees working in this business. We had to spin it off as its own corporate entity for tax purposes, among other things. It made sense. We needed to separate it. It was muddy in our existing business. By 2018, Tracy and I were like, “This is the business. This is our big opportunity going forward.” We stopped operating the other business focusing on it. Tracy came on as the CEO, and we have continued to grow ever since.
It’s less about our success as a company. What I love about this is that it works as long as somebody like you, David, is willing to record the content, because I can’t make you do it. I can support you. I can give you all the guidance and recommendations and strategize with you about what to record, but I can’t make your record. As long as you record, it’s a fantastic way to raise your level of authority, make you the center of influence in your niche, and market and grow your business, whether that’s a personal brand or a company brand. I would recommend that you just have to record a minimum of one episode a week to be effective.You don’t need to spend much to record a podcast. Modern computer technology has advanced so much that it is all you will need. Click To Tweet
We started out once a week and are now recording a lot more content, and you are helping us. When you look at the world of podcasting, it goes the full gamut from some of the most detailed aspects. I thought, “We’re in a very narrow vertical market of mortgage lending. Who’s going to listen to this?” We are approaching one million downloads of our podcasts. It’s amazing. I look at the overall diversity of podcasts that are out there. I’m trying to speak to someone who says, “We don’t have anything to talk about.” I don’t care if it’s only one narrow little niche. Talk about that.
What’s wonderful about podcasting is there are no gatekeepers there saying, “We are not going to allow you to publish a show on our network or our app or platform unless you can prove to us you are going to have a certain critical mass of listeners. If you are not going to have 20,000 regular listeners, I’m sorry but you can’t do it.” Anybody can do it. That’s the wonderful thing. Some people do it all themselves. They keep it pretty simple, and others get the support they need to amplify their message, bring their message to the world, and be seen, heard, and found.
That’s pretty much what every podcaster or podcast wants. It’s to be heard by more and more of their ideal listeners. The topics are incredibly narrow. You can have podcasts that maybe are only listened to by 100 people on a regular basis, and it’s on some scientific topic that’s very educationally focused. Only those people that have a PhD in that field are going to listen to it, but that’s okay. That has value for that audience.
It’s not about the size. It’s about the impact that you can have on the size that listens.
You will have things that are for expectant mothers or new mothers.
For a short season, someone is in that stage of life or is on that milestone at that time, and it’s so special. I’m thinking about one particular individual, and he loves fly fishing. He wanted to talk to other people who did fly fishing. He launched a fly-fishing podcast. Much to his shock and amazement, he got a huge listening audience. There’s fishing, and it’s a broad category. Fly fishing is a narrow category, and even within that narrower category, he has it segmented down and still has thousands of listeners, and advertisers started knocking on the door, “We love your podcast. Would you mind talking about our rods and our reels?” He was blown away. I had that happen with me and my show. Talk about that.
I will give you another example, and this one didn’t start as a business opportunity, but became one. A similar podcast on a very niche topic of whitetail deer hunting. Talk about outdoor sportsmen hunting shows. There are lots of them. It’s not just a general show about hunting, but hunting whitetail deer. “Are there enough people who would be interested in that?” I’m not a hunter. My brother-in-law is. I didn’t know whitetail deer hunting was a thing. I talked to him about it and he’s like, “There are a lot of people into that.”
When we started supporting this podcast, which is called Whitetail Rendezvous, that show ran for 500-some odd episodes. The host was quite old, and he’s even retired from that now, but in its day, there was a huge audience of tens of thousands of people listening to this podcast. Lots of different brands who sell products that are a good fit for the whitetail deer hunter flocked to the podcast to say, “Can we put an ad on your shows? We will pay you for it.” It became a side business for him, who is a retired guy passionate about his topic.
David, that’s the real important thing that we can probably emphasize here. Regardless of your subject, and I know a lot of your audience are business people. You and I are business people. Podcasts for business are incredibly valuable. We are giving a couple of examples that are not necessarily businesses first, but I don’t want anyone to think that it means there isn’t an opportunity for businesses. In some ways, there is a bigger opportunity for businesses that’s personal or special interest subjects.
The key is whoever is the spokesperson, the host or the talent on the show, even if you don’t think you are a natural speaker, you can be coached, trained, and get experience. The real key ingredient is passion. You’ve got to bring the energy. If you are knowledgeable, you have experience in your career or in a hobby, you have the knowledge to share, you are passionate about sharing it with others. As long as that is true, then you can have the trifecta of serving yourself, having a creative outlet or to be sharing your knowledge with others. You are providing that listener value where they are getting value for free.
When they hear you in their ears every week, they know and trust you, even though they’ve never met you. The third part is that you provide tremendous value to a sponsor because as long as that sponsor, whatever it is that they are offering your listener, is in alignment with why people are listening, then listeners convert the calls to action from sponsors at a very high rate of conversion. We see that between 30% and 40% of listeners will respond. Also, statistically, when people listen to the radio or watch television, Nielsen and other people have reported this, it’s well-documented, about 5% to 6% of those audiences don’t mind hearing ads from sponsors.
In the podcasting industry, 65% to 70% don’t mind hearing ads from sponsors. It’s because they’ve opted in to listen to the show. They don’t turn on a channel randomly, and there’s something on there that maybe isn’t relevant to them. They’ve chosen to listen to your show. Because they value what you are providing them in terms of content, if you feel the need to have an ad on your show or have sponsors on your show to keep giving them that value for free, they don’t mind it. Again, when the sponsors are relevant to why you are listening, not only do you not mind it, you might appreciate it. It’s like, “I have been looking for a resource or a product like that.” That’s why people respond well to it.
We’ve got our advertisers getting reports from people that read the episode. Let’s talk about that particular sponsor and its products and services. They say, “I didn’t know that such and such offers this particular product. I thought they were in this part of it.” It does broaden awareness. It’s so true. You talked about the fact that equipment-wise, $100 could get you into the podcasting business. That’s amazing. Most of us spend that much in too short a time like coffee.
You also talked about the person with passion. Let’s talk to the person that say, “Yeah, but I don’t like my voice.” I’ve always said this. We have been listening to your voice all along. That’s the voice God gave you. I don’t know what voice you think you should have. You have a rich resonance in your voice. I’m a Vocal major. Some people say, “You have a voice for radio or television,” but a lot of people aren’t blessed with a particular voice, but it’s unique. The more unique the voice, the better there is at building a brand around that voice.
I agree with that. For full transparency here, there is something to be said that a lot of podcasters, whether they have a natural speaking ability or not, when they start podcasting for the first time, they are a little more green. They make a little more mistakes. There’s a little nervousness, maybe a few too many ums and uhs or awkward pauses. All that can be fixed in editing, but what happens eventually, as long as you keep doing it consistently, you get naturally better at it, and your editors have less work to do because you deliver your message with fewer of those common nervous factors within there.
People who interview others get better at interviewing, but you can get coaching too on how to be a better interviewer, how to ask the best interview questions, or how to ask the best opening questions. There are lots of things like this. We talk about that on one of my podcasts for podcasters, which is called Feed Your Brand. We address a lot of those issues. If you are wanting to be the best of the best in audio quality, there are voice coaches you can get training from who are podcasters themselves. Most people don’t do that and maybe don’t feel the need for that, but if you do and you want to get that kind of support, there’s support out there for that.
When you are looking at the content of a podcast, is there a model? Is there a certain amount of time that someone should try to attain? We look at the 15, 20-minute time window that TED Talks are famous for. I’ve got some thoughts on it, but I want to hear yours first.
This is a good question. It’s one of the most common questions we get from new podcasters. The answer to this has changed over the years. This is why one of the things that I strive to do every year, both Tracy and I, as Cofounders of this company, not only do we encourage all of our employees to be podcasters, and we give them some benefit to make it easier for them to do it, so it doesn’t cost them a lot of money. They can help people better if they are podcasters and experience it themselves.
Even for Tracy and me, we don’t want to be advocating what worked ten years ago. We want to know what’s working today. Every year, each of us, either together or separately, starts a new podcast, so we are experiencing again what’s happening and how things are different today than it was in the past. That informs us of a lot of things, and that’s why I’m saying this issue has changed. When we first started, we believed, and maybe it was true, that we wanted to keep every podcast to under 25 minutes because that was the average length of a commute for people commuting to work in the United States. We started that way.
What we found over time was that our audience reached out to us, communicated with us and said, “We love the content but I wish you would go a little deeper. Why do you guys stop there at 25 minutes?” We thought about it and were like, “Why are we stopping?” We thought that was the right length. What we’ve learned over the years, and now when we coach a new podcast, we say, “There is no perfect length. There’s no optimum length either.” We tend to see trends or averages though, because we’ve now launched over a thousand podcasts and are supporting over a thousand podcasters producing their content.You don’t necessarily need to get thousands of listeners. Just focus on amplifying your message so you can be seen, heard, and found. Click To Tweet
When people are recording what we call a solocast, which is you are getting on the microphone, speaking to your listeners, sharing a nugget of wisdom, a topic, or a niche topic that you think is relevant. We tend to see those episodes being in the 20 to 25-minute long range, but some might be 15 or 30 but on average, we see 20 to 25 minutes.
When there’s a discussion, a dialogue, or an interview going on with people, that’s where we tend to see them longer, typically 40 to 45 minutes or up to an hour. Here’s what I tell podcasters. There’s no rule. There’s no requirement. I don’t know if you realize this, but as a podcast listener, I’ve started to do this and have learned of the trend of what we call podfasters. Meaning people that listen to podcasting as their primary content. That’s how they absorb the content. They are not reading the newspaper. They are not reading even the news online. They are listening to it. They are consuming information and educating themselves by listening to it first. These podfasters will usually listen to episodes at two times the speed.
I can get up to 1.5 but 2X is amazing.
At first, when I heard that, I was like, “Can you understand? Does it sound like the chipmunks?” I hadn’t tried it, but once I tried it, it doesn’t sound that much different than if you listen to it at normal speed, but you get through an hour of a podcast in 30 minutes. I would say there are some people that speak very fast, and I am not one of those. When Tracy and I are on a podcast together, it’s the tale of two different speakers because she speaks very quickly. I’m a little slower and more deliberate. That might make it tough for people to listen at two times the speed. For different podcasts, you might want to listen at 1.5 time speed and not 2 times speed, but it doesn’t sound dramatically different, and you get through your content faster. Listeners are going to listen in the time they have to listen is what I’m trying to say.
That’s so true, and it’s interesting. There was a study done by those that speak faster, and I studied Public Speaking because I do a lot of it. Those that speak at a faster rate, at least during segments, doing bursts of really fast speaking, they hold the audience’s attention better. What’s interesting is that the retention of what is said goes up significantly.
It’s because our brain works at such a rapid rate, much faster than most of our mouths do. Although my mouth has gotten ahead of my brain a number of times, at least it seems like what comes out of my mouth is that most people’s brains, if they are processing what you are saying, are thinking, “I wonder what he’s thinking.” If you speak too slowly, they are trying to figure out where you are going, what’s going on, what your motive is.
They start processing a conversation within them around the words that are being spoken. The faster you speak, I think you can get to the point faster as I just did. Speeding it up, slowing it down or whatever. There’s the importance of speaking with punctuation. That’s where you put a very deliberate, almost staccato-type approach into the delivery of your words. You punctuate certain words with certain pauses, and the word pops.
There are a lot of tricks and tips that go into it, but the most important one is passion. You had hit on that. The most important thing we talked about is passion. We can go on and on about this, and probably we are going to go on about this because I want to continue to talk about this. I will have you back a number of times because I want to create a lot of content for our listeners who are wanting to do this. I’m willing to give this a try. I’m ready to go for it. How do I start this process?
There are a few different ways to do it. I know you are a business show, David, and most people that are reading are in business and probably have marketing budgets. That’s great, but there may be some listeners who are just starting out and maybe don’t have a big budget. I want to cover two different options there.
I believe in being completely transparent about what it takes to do and do it right. I don’t believe in holding anything back. Those people that can afford to pay for it are going to pay to get acceleration and save time. Those that need to bootstrap it, I respect that too. I started out once myself in business. We have a bootcamp that’s free on our website, Podetize.com/bootcamp. It’s seven and a half hours of video content, downloads, and handouts. You have to register for it as a user, but then it’s free. If you want to learn how to launch a successful podcast, you can go and do that for free. It is teaching you how to do it, but then you still have to go and do the work. To be perfectly honest, most of us in business are not going to be interested in that.
For the people that are in business and who need to get to that point of marketing and growing their businesses as fast as possible, at Podetize we have a done-for-you set up and launch package to launch your podcast. That’s where we are going to do all the creative work there. Obviously, it’s your brand. We need to understand your goals, your brand, your fonts, your colors, your brand guidelines, and all those good things. You may have an idea of the name for your podcast or you may not.
We will brainstorm and help name a show with you, but there’s a laundry list of other physical things that have to be created to launch a successful podcast that you probably didn’t realize. When you get into it, you thought, I want to record my episodes and publish them. You can, but even to publish, there are rules. Apple has requirements, and you need to meet those requirements or they are not going to publish your shows. Basically, we do this all for you.
All I can’t do is the record for you. We are going to prepare you to record. We will provide you with that microphone if you work with us. We are going to pull everything out of you that we need, and you need to review all these different elements or materials, and either approve them or request revisions. Also, record at least one episode before we can launch your show. Although we do recommend most shows launch with three episodes, and sometimes they want to launch with half a dozen. There are reasons why you might want to do that, but at minimum, one.
Then you can be on all the listening apps, and that’s also a service we provide. You don’t have to figure out, “How do I get on Spotify? How do I get on Apple? How do I get on iHeartRadio and all these things?” It’s a part of our service. We do it for you, including putting the podcast on your own website, and that’s a whole other thing that you need to know about is that a podcast, the way we see it in business now, goes far beyond the audio show.
We have a large listening audience of mortgage originators or business owners who own mortgage banking companies. You have a good story to share with someone that’s a regular podcast with you that produces a niche market. He’s a loan originator, and I want you to talk about that. I’m looking forward to interviewing him on my show and how he got into it. I want to help bring his brand increase his awareness but also, it’s such a great success story. Tell our audience about that.
I’m happy to share that. The show is called How To Buy A Home by David Sidoni. He launched his show with us a couple of years ago, and he’s over episode 200 at this point. He started with one episode a week and doubled down by doing two episodes a week. Although there are people doing more than one show and will publish one per week, but David is two episodes a week now.
He is providing educational information and value because David has a goal. His goal is to get, especially, what we would call the generation of Millennials who are renting. His mission is to help them save money and improve their personal financial position and wealth by buying a home sooner, and stop spending money on rent as much, but they can often spend less than what they are spending on rent and buy that home, but they don’t have awareness. They don’t have the knowledge. They haven’t been educated on how to do it.
He is a real estate agent in Southern California. Originally, his goal was to raise awareness for who he is for local first-time home buyers here in Southern California. What ended up happening pretty quickly within about six months was that he was getting a reputation across the country because podcasts, quite honestly, are not limited to your local area. In fact, they are not even limited to North America. They are available globally, although, in most English-spoken podcasts, the United States is probably the biggest market of listeners. There is Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand also.
He got quickly a loyal following of listeners all across the United States. They would reach out and say, “I’m a first-time home buyer but I’m in Atlanta. Do you have a recommendation for a real estate agent here?” Here goes the light bulb, and David starts to quickly build a network of agents. Sometimes, first-time home buyers would feel like, “This agent is too experienced. They are looking for a bigger sale or a bigger commission. They are not interested in first-time home buyers. It’s going to be buying a less expensive home.”Even if you are not a natural speaker, you can still host a podcast. The real key ingredient is passion. Click To Tweet
He found a network of vetted agents across the country that he could refer these people to. He now makes more money in making a fraction of that commission on referrals than he does in his local Southern California real estate business. He’s completely doubled down on the podcast. It is a primary driver of business for him, and he built his reputation through it.
There’s a blog post created for every episode on his website, and this is part of what we do at Podetize, where he will usually have a guest, and there will be unique graphics for every episode. He’s got his website here that is called How To Buy A Home, which he didn’t have when he started the podcast. That was the name of the show. Then the website is becoming a machine of a resource for the listeners.
David, you mentioned about people thinking about topics, and do they have enough to say? I have had many potential podcasters come with apprehension about starting a show because they think, “I don’t know if I have enough to say every week for a year.” When we brainstorm, we have a strategy session, “Let’s see if we can come up with 2 dozen topics for your first 6 months of episodes.”
I have rarely had one of those sessions not produce 150 to 200 topics in under an hour. Once you start brainstorming and breaking down niche topics, you don’t want to try to do too much in one episode. Listeners want to take a deep dive into a narrow subject. David Sidoni does this very well. I know people listening are already listening to your show, but Lykken on Lending for your mortgage professionals, what you’ve engaged us to do is to provide the same kind of production support to what we would say multicast your recording in audio, video, social share graphics, blog posts for your website, and the blog post is significant.
Talk about that because that is such an important part. I’ve recognized it, but to get to how to do it, you guys are experts in this. It was such a gift to have found you, Tom, and your willingness to jump in and help me, and advise me and work with me as you have. Talk about the importance of the website.
The website is so overlooked by podcasters, especially existing ones. Often, I find existing podcasters who have really thought about it only as an audio show. Even about their podcast listening, I usually find at least three things that they didn’t even know are hurting their growth and are preventing them from being found by more of their ideal listeners that could be changed in a day. The following month after, they make the change. The podcast is going to be found by more people.
You asked about the blog posts. Any podcaster’s episodes are only searchable in the listening apps like Apple, Spotify, iHeart, and Google Podcasts. There are three dozen or more different listening apps, and you can use any of them. All your episode topics and what you are talking about in these episodes are only searchable by what’s in their titles and those descriptions for each episode.
David, your average show for the longer ones is about an hour. There are 60 minutes of content, and on average, most people tend to speak at 150 words a minute. There are breaks and things, but let’s say your typical one-hour podcast, there are probably 8,000 words spoken in that episode that are not searchable because Google doesn’t go into the MP3 file and listen to what was said and say, “Somebody is searching on mortgage lending. I’m going to match them up with Lykken on Lending podcast.” They can only go on what’s written in the description, and it’s a small amount of information. On the podcast listening apps and Google, that’s all you can be found for.
However, we do something, and I talked about it back in the beginning when Tracy and I first started podcasts and experimented. We were figuring out some things that were different from what others weren’t doing, and it became the foundation of our business and what separates us from other providers. We convert every episode into a comprehensive blog post. We called it a verbal SEO blog post because of what we are doing.
There’s a lot of what we are doing because we are creating this post to look like a magazine page on your website. Maybe that’s an old-school way to talk about it because how many people read physical magazines anymore? It’s not as much as it used to. We wanted to make a very good impression because many people are going to come from a Google search right to that episode page. What we are doing is converting what was said in the episode into text, into written content.
We are not keyword hacking or cramming. We are taking what you say and what any guests say in your episode. We convert it to text and put it in a condition that Google regards as valuable content. It’s not a word-for-word transcript where it says, “David Lykken: said this. Tom Hazzard: said that.” We distinguish between who’s speaking in a different way that makes it easier to read, and it is cleaned up, and quality improved. Anything that’s repetitive or unnecessary is removed, but it is 90% of what was said in the episode.
Google loves this content because it has such value. It’s so rich with all these phrases that they know people are searching on in their search bar every month. We put this post on the client’s website for their episode, and Google, on that same day, scans it. I can give you a very quick little case study, a little story about this from another customer who has a podcast on the distressed real estate note investing. There’s a niche within your real estate field. We do these posts for him, and this goes back to 2017 or 2018. I happened to see him at an event in Anaheim, and he had an episode that we published three days earlier. He realized he did a Google search on the name of a company he mentioned in his episode, just the name of this other company, not his company, not his podcast.
When you googled it, the second organic line item, the search result was the blog post for his episode, and the website for the company he mentioned was the fourth result. His blog post outranked the website for the company he was mentioning, and this was three days after we published it. The point is that the day we publish it, Google scans that blog post.
There are many factors that go into it. You don’t just want to put nothing but text because Google wants to see a multimedia post, and there needs to be valuable outbound links in it, images with captions, and all things. They scan it that day and then associate it because they will say, “This phrase, 250,000 people searched on last month. This other phrase, 325,000 people searched on last month.” The next time they search on that, your post will come up in the search results.
That’s the code we cracked in how you can raise awareness for who you are, what you do, and your podcast with people that hadn’t thought to listen to a podcast and they weren’t searching for a podcast. They went to Google first, but once they got there, “This is a show, and I can play it right there on that blog post and try it.” It’s content marketing but you are speaking your way to it.
Many people underestimate the power of the spoken word, and we have been listening way more than we have been reading all of our lives. Even if you are an avid reader, you listen more. People are drawn to what is spoken because not only do you pick up the content, but you are picking up the voice of which it was spoken. They learned something more. It’s more meaningful and stickier. The point of it is that this is a powerful medium that’s taking off. How can people learn more about you if they want to get ahold of you, Tom, to start having a discussion, “Is this right for me?”
Right here, I’ve got a little microphone up beside me. Podetize is our brand. You can go to Podetize.com. It is very straightforward. When you get to that landing page, if you would like to have a free strategy session, which would be a Zoom call usually. It can be a phone call if you prefer, but we recommend a Zoom call. You scroll towards the bottom of that homepage, and there is a calendar right there where you can book a free strategy call. That’s the best way.
Tom, thank you so much for taking time on your busy day. It has been delightful to interview you here. The amount of knowledge that you have and expertise in this area is amazing. I have been at it for several years, and I thought I knew a lot, but I’m getting on with you and I’m learning so much more each and every time we talk. It’s so important that people consider getting their voices out and being heard.
They say, “A lot of people are talking about the area of expertise I have.” Nobody has the frequency and the voice you have. You can read exactly the same content as someone else and you are going to connect with a different audience because your voice is different than the other person speaking the exact content. Get out there and you will be so thrilled. If you get ahold of Tom at Podetize, he and his team care about producing quality. They will help you through it. I encourage you to get ahold of Tom. Thanks so much for being here. I appreciate it.
It’s my great pleasure, David. Thank you for having me.
- Tom Hazzard
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- Feed Your Brand
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About Tom Hazzard
Hi, I’m Tom Hazzard, co-host of the Forbes-featured fast growth WTFFF?! 3D Printing Podcast and The Feed Your Brand Podcast on iTunes, GooglePlay, TuneIn & Stitcher. After amassing over 500 episodes, 45,000 listens per month and monetizing the podcast with a high-level sponsor and a 33% conversion rate within one year of launch, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to use podcasting to power up content conversion.
I’ve honed my content conversion skills in the toughest marketplace – getting products to fly off the retail shelf without any sales assistance. Along with my partner (and wife, Tracy) we’ve proven our product conversion skills by developing over 250 consumer products that generate close to $1 Billion for our retail clients. The goal of any product, service, marketing or business launch is to make “it” sell itself. Because of this core principal, we’ve streamlined and powered the way we podcast to 1) take the least amount of time possible; 2) be the most effective use of marketing dollars; and 3) convert to the point that we get paid by others to market our business.