Few podcasters have the same caliber as Lou Diamond. As the host of Thrive LOUD and three other shows, this diamond of a podcaster has got to be one of the most prolific in the industry. Known as the Master Connector, Lou is also a whiz when it comes to using his shows to build powerful connections and partnerships. This is just one of the literal diamonds that you are going to get out of this episode as Tracy Hazzard brings him in for a fun and wide-ranging conversation. Nailing down some of the most fundamental secrets to effective podcasting, Lou shares how he finds guests who can bring value to his show and his business in one way or another; how he innovates his shows to keep his audience engaged; and how podcasting has opened up opportunities for himself and his guests to build valuable relationships in a unique way. Join in and find out what makes Lou’s shows bingeable and what steps you can take to follow his brilliant example.
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Can Your Show Actually Lead To Powerful Partners? Lou Diamond’s Podcast Thrive LOUD Does
I have a diamond of a podcaster. He’s at a diamond level at podcasting and his name is Lou Diamond. He is getting close to a thousand episodes between all of his shows. He’s got four shows. He’s super prolific. He posts three episodes a week or more between all the different shows, probably every day of the week. He’s amazing. I wrote an article about him in the Authority Magazine and that’s how we met. I got his insights into it, but we never connected in person until I happen to pop into Clubhouse. I popped into my friend, Scott Carson, who was speaking on a panel and Lou was the moderator.
He’s been doing some brilliant things on Clubhouse and I’m going to get him to talk about it with us. What I love is that Lou is so generous with his sharing about all the things he’s trying and doing. He’s such an experimenter and you’re going to find so many great gems, literal diamonds that you’re going to get out of this episode. I can’t wait for you to learn from him. Let me tell you a little bit more about Lou. He is the Master Connector. He has over a quarter–century of experience in sales, relationship management, business development and leadership coaching.
He’s an international keynote speaker, consultant leadership and performance mentor, best-selling author, podcast and TV host and CEO of Thrive, helping businesses, top performers and brands thrive through the power of connecting. That’s exactly his show title. It’s called Thrive LOUD. He has four shows totals. I’m going to talk about them in this episode, you’re going to be fascinated by all the interesting things and all the interesting ways that Lou is marketing his business through his podcast and marketing his podcasts through his business. Let’s learn it from Lou.
Lou, welcome in. I’m glad to talk to you on the show instead of just in writing on an article.
Tracy, this is awesome. I get to speak with you and let other people learn from us. This is more bingeable than the article that we wrote.
I’m so glad we’re doing this. I don’t often get to talk to someone who’s as prolific of a podcaster as I am. We’re going to have so much fun. You have four shows and they are Thrive LOUD, Why They Listen, Diamond Cuts Money Talks. Money does talk, by the way. He’s a talker and he’s great at it. Authors That Thrive is another one. They’re all varying ages. Most of those three are the new ones. How far ahead are you?
We did a special thing, which will be very relevant for our conversation. We did something special in Clubhouse, which exploded the number of guests that we did. I partnered up with Success.com and Clubhouse, and we did a whole feature, Elevating the Brilliant Minds of Women, and this started in one of Success.com’s room in Clubhouse, where I was hearing a lot of women being frustrated that they weren’t getting the media opportunities or they wouldn’t get into speaking opportunities. I said, “I feature women all the time on Thrive LOUD.”
This is not a special series for you. You’ve been featuring them since the beginning.
“Anyone that’s in this room, raise your hand or send me a DM, connect to me directly, and I’m going to try and get you on the show.” I can’t even begin to tell you that within an hour, they were over 50 responses. My Instagram actually blew up, which has never happened to me. I’m not that popular of a person. All of a sudden, I don’t even know what to do. We had to weed through some of it, and we’ve been slowly queuing them up. As I shared with you, we’ve been recording a lot of great episodes and bingeing them together. Three of the women that came from that group each week and we’re breaking it up with a regular guest, those three, and then alternating it, which has caused this larger queue. Normally, we’re about 2 to 3 weeks ahead.
That’s not too far. That’s the question I always get. When you have a show that you’ve been doing for a long time, there’s a tendency to get far ahead, but then there’s a problem with promotion. There’s this tipping point between being too far ahead and getting the promotion that you need because there’s an energy from having done it.When you listen to your incredible guests and connect with them, you absorb all their energy. It’s not as exhausting as it seems. Click To Tweet
We do three new guests every week. That originally started with one guest a week when the show first came out and that was what we realized. We’re like, “This is great. Thanks for coming to the program. We’ll be out eight months from now.” We can’t do that. We’re going to lose the vibe and even the relevancy to it. The ability to connect with all these great people is awesome. I do record in binges. I’ll have a two-day recording. We do about like 6 to 7 interviews a day type of thing.
That’s my big question for you because there’s a lot of podcasters that I talk to who can’t do that. How do you constantly stay on for that long period of time? What do you do?
John Lee Dumas and I had this very discussion because he used to do something crazy. He would pick one day a month and he would do up to sixteen interviews in one day. First of all, I didn’t even know there were enough hours in a day to do it, but he did. I agreed with what he told me on Thrive LOUD. He told me this pattern. He now does days where he does 8 in 1 day. He feeds off of the energy of those guests that come on and I completely agreed with it. I am naturally a high-energy person, as you can tell. When I’m listening to these incredible people and connecting with them, I’m hearing their stories, I’m spoiled rotten.
I’m absorbing all this crazy energy. By the end of a binge day of recording, usually, I’m like 5 or 6. I’m not crazy like I’m eight. I feel amazing. I say, “Look at all these great people I connected with.” I almost feel guilty, “We just interviewed you and you can’t go on tomorrow because I want people to hear the same message that I’ve heard.” I feed off that energy. I feel great. The truth is, you know this as a host, typically the guest is doing more speaking than the host is. It’s not as exhausting, it’s a lot of listening and paying a lot of focus and attention.
I think that paying attention, that active listening, participating, and prepping up because I don’t like to go into an interview with nothing. I may be sometimes treated more casually, not in this show because this show I have to prepare, but I have done that before where I can be a little bit. Active listening takes energy. I hear from that because that’s the definition of an extrovert. An extrovert feeds off the energy of others and thrives in that and introverts don’t. You keep hearing about those introverts having an advantage, but that’s our extroverted advantage.
I also did it for a survival tactic as well and that was, I have a lot of either speaking or client work, consulting work, workshops to run that I do as part of the main business of what I do, and so I couldn’t have them spread out throughout the week. I needed one day to be focused on the podcast. That helped structure my week very productively and efficiently. When I wake up Friday morning, usually have a few work client things to do in the morning, but then a whole afternoon becomes like what I am doing podcasting.
You’ve got multiple shows. Some of these shows you started in 2020 or so, you’ve got a lot going on now. How do you manage the multiples?
They also grew organically and let’s give some full transparency to it. Bedside Reading‘s Authors That Thrive spawn out of Thrive LOUD truly out of necessity, so many authors, real authors, and I want to make that clear you and I both have written books and whatnot, but we also have our other jobs.
Just Self–Admitted, I wrote it, it’s sitting back there. I didn’t publish it. I am not a published author.
In a perfect situation, you’re a podcaster. You’re a thought leader. You are someone with a key with great media connection. A lot of these authors are out there. That’s their job. They’re writers, they’re New York Times bestselling authors, and they are promoting their books and they’re using the same flow through and traffic of getting onto podcasts. I was getting a lot of them and some of them are incredible, but they weren’t necessarily the best fit for what Thrive LOUD was about, but I did want to connect with these people.
I partnered with Jane Ubell-Meyer, who runs Bedside Reading and before the pandemic, it had a brilliant business model. They were putting best-selling books inside of boutique high-end hotels, right on the bedside at the hotel. It was promoted throughout of it. The authors would work with her to get those books distributed across the globe. She also wanted to put in an extra feature and she wanted to have them on a podcast. We partnered together and it became a revenue model for us.
Both of us split the revenue, 50/50 down the middle, and we created a new podcast program and it did two things. One, it gave me a place to put all those great authors, because I was having that day problem we were talking about with all these great guests coming on, Thrive LOUD. It also created a whole great revenue stream for the authors. They were buying the books through that too, so it was a wonderful win-win in doing that. That one grew organically and that doesn’t happen as frequently because we do those very selected by season.
You also have Diamond Cuts Money Talks. That was part of your Thrive Loud show for a while. Evan was coming back again and again.
Evan was on the show. His original time coming on, hearing his story, a man who’s been married, now 27 times to the same woman, and I was fascinated by his story. He was West Coast, I was East Coast and learned that he was a huge fan of football and sports like I am. The two of us had this interesting take, and we said, “We should put together something that covers all the things that we love, which is we love and embrace life. We’re all about leadership and having people move on and upward for thriving, and we’re into the NFL. Maybe we can create a show that would do this.” That’s exactly what we did.
You got a buddy show going on to use that like an entertainment show.
The truth is, I needed something that wasn’t work-related and it was a great way to do it. I look forward to our recording days together. That got popular fast because we were also targeting it to these other avenues. My favorite story about bringing all my worlds together is that I ended up interviewing a famous athlete on Thrive LOUD and they came over to me, they go, “Aren’t you the guy with that, Evan money dude, the two bald guys on the cover of the thing?”
You guys got to check it out. It’s a great cover. I was talking about it before we started here, the two bald guys caricature of the two of them. It does look like both of you, so it’s the awesome cover art.
We do that once a week and that’s fun. It’s probably a stress release too on what I do. The third one is a special program, Why They Listen? One of my clients is a company called AIMeCAST and they actually help people do podcasting internally inside of organizations, big Fortune 500 companies are using podcasting to improve communication. The Founder, Steve Rimland, who was a guest on Thrive LOUD, approached me years ago. He reached out to me and said, “I’m not ready for you yet, but I’m going to be, and I’m going to need you.”
What ended up happening was he was building this incredible player that didn’t just do podcasts, it is awesome. It does PowerPoint presentations, slides, videos, and salespeople, or people can use the app internally to communicate great new updates. They do product launches. They train doctors and pharmaceutical companies with this great tech. This evolved in there and grown to so many different companies and then he needed to promote it. He reached me and he called me up one day and he goes, “Remember I told you a couple of years ago? Now, we got to work together.”
What we did was we said, we wanted to create a program where people would have access to these podcasts that you normally could not listen to because they’re not on Spotify or Apple Podcast or anywhere else, they’re inside these companies. We wanted to feature these very specific unique programs. We interjected it with other specific unique programs. Who knows? Maybe The Binge Factor will be on Why They Listen. That’s what we decode. What is it about this great program that is drawing in listeners and getting people‘s attention and they learn something from it? We’re amplifying the podcasting medium and bringing to light these incredible programs that are connecting and communicating effectively in a unique way. That’s the fourth program. It fits in very nicely with all the differences.
You’re interjecting these partnerships that you’ve to build and that’s what I want to talk about because you’ve done that so brilliantly, you’ve got the collaboration that you did, evaluating the brilliant minds of women with Success.com right within Clubhouse to do that. I love that you’ve developed these partnerships and collaborations. How did they come about? How do you make them happen?
As a connector, and that’s what I coach, speak about, train people about, is how to be a better connector in a sales marketing or leadership component. That’s the root of the business that I do each and every day. That’s what people hire me for. Podcasting, by the way, is also part of that, because that is a means to connect it. We’ve used it as a way to connect to our business in our brand. When I realized this amazing medium of Clubhouse, it had some great attributes, it’s got some problems. I want to get both sides of it, but the good things are the connectivity to people immediately live right away. I’m a little older than you, Tracy, but I grew up in like, you could have dialed into a party-line type of a thing.
I’m a lot older than I look, I do know what party lines are.
Now, we’ve got this great app where we can network instantly and I’ll be completely honest, I was trying to figure out where was the right place to play within Clubhouse? Obviously, it’s a great way to connect, I’ll go into rooms where other professional speakers reside. I’ll go in with our other consultants in certain businesses with that aspect. Most of the time I’m finding myself in places where podcasters were going.
We were looking at this medium saying, “This is great.” A lot of people are like, “It’s going to replace podcast. It’s going to change the way that we listen.” I stopped and thought about it. I said, “It’s no different than when something is on television.” There’s a little bit of FOMO like if you miss out when NBC is going to air Friends at 8:00 on Thursday night which they did from the late ‘90s all the way into whenever that show ended. You almost felt like you had to miss it, or you would tape it. Now, everything is on-demand. That’s how I think about content with podcasts. You listen to it when you can listen to it. Binge Factor is perfect.
I listened to a show called The Rewatchables, which is a Bill Simmons podcast, which I have not missed an episode, which is so sad because I love movies. I won’t listen to more than one at a time. I realized that’s podcasting and then there’s this amazing live interactive medium that Clubhouse is there. “Why don’t we just amplify our podcast through it?” The way that I did was, was trying to identify unique opportunities that can grow my business or grow the podcast. That was the way that we were going to play with Clubhouse. That’s the space that I like to dance in. Would you like to know more about how we’re doing?
I would love to know more about it and so with our readers, they would be remised if I didn’t say, “And Lou, tell us how you’re doing that and what you’re doing.”Partnerships don’t always work. But when you get in to make sure both partners are getting something out of it, it makes all the difference. Click To Tweet
That day that I made that partnership, with Success.com, they were hosting a room. I invited all these amazing, brilliant minds of women to come on to Thrive LOUD, and that is exactly what we did and it was great. We got a lot of episodes that filtered into Thrive LOUD, which was awesome because I got to connect to these people. This wasn’t driving revenue to my business, but this certainly was increasing popularity, getting into a different group of listeners that we didn’t ever have. It also gave me a chance to find some other amazing people that had some good stories that might add to my readers’ readership. I thought that was a good mix of how to do it.
What I realized is that if you’re going to use partnerships or connections and all these things together, the most important thing you have to do is it has to be a very good handshake where your two worlds together, a great partnership, a great alliance has to have benefits for both parties. It can’t just be all given no take. It’s got to give both. That’s the only way it works. The example I gave with Bedside Readings, Authors That Thrive, perfect match. When someone putting books in and we’re giving authors more things to do. The partnership with Success.com looks great, because we’re helping to elevate women, something that they’re trying to do consciously in their branding and their organization.
They’ve got another outlet when the podcast with Thrive LOUD, which is embodying that. Those are great partnerships, they work together. I’m always identifying how we can both mutually help one another. It doesn’t always work, by the way, let’s make it clear. That’s how partnerships break up, relationships don’t work, both partners aren’t getting something out of it. I go in looking to find where they overlap and where we can both benefit, as opposed to how it’s only going to help me. I think that is a big difference.
A lot of people approach people in that way. It comes off a little rough. If you’ve been in Clubhouse, I‘ve jumped in a couple of rooms in people that are moderating and they’re trying to sell their packages from the virtual Clubhouse stage. It’s not a space I want to be in. I find the group of people within that. What we did in Clubhouse, is we created the Thrive LOUD RockStars. “It is a club. Here’s how you get in, you had to have been a guest on Thrive LOUD.” A got a lot of people, but not everybody is on Clubhouse, but we’re slowly getting them on. What we will do, is each week when we launched those three new episodes, sometime that week, we’re going to go in live with those three guests.
They’re the other co-moderators with me on the stage. It’s not a re-interview, it’s an open discussion, and we bring anybody else that wants to connect to these guests, and each of those guests that are featured on Thrive LOUD in the Thrive LOUD RockStars stage, get a chance to talk about what they’re up to. Like you said, sometimes there’s a delay between when they first met and what’s going on. They could pitch their own 0:20:54 and I’m now continuing to promote them, then I do something else. Do you know what I do? I give each of them a gift that’s going to help them even better. This is the partnership thing.
They already came on the show. They were kind enough to come on my platform, share their time, share their message with our brand, which I know they’re benefiting too, but I’m also going to give them something else. It’s customized each time to different people because they all have different needs, sometimes to connect to someone that they need. In one particular case, and this is my favorite, I got somebody a podcasting job. A paid podcasting thing and that was a gift that somebody came because they had such a great platform and they were a perfect fit for this particular piece. I’m using my connecting skills as a Master Connector.
You’re using your power and show your power.
That’s what I’m doing. That’s the biggest thing about the Thrive LOUD RockStars is what we call them. It’s fun to come and hang out and hear who’s thriving loud each and every day.
I’m so glad you shared that. This is what I love about having connected up with you and popped into a few of your rooms is that generosity of connection, that spirit that you have is coming right across in that medium. It’s working for you. I don’t see that in every room. You’re right, it’s not working everywhere. We’re using ours differently. We’re using ours as a nurturing platform. That’s how we want to look at it. We want to help improve shows.
You are providing good lessons. We try to do that too. I know we’ve had a bunch of people jump in and try and come into the Thrive LOUD Rockstars room and say, “I want to start a podcast.” I’m like, “That’s great. I don’t know if we’re going to talk about that.”
It took us a while to refine it so that we were saying, “We’re going to be able to nurture because the majority of the people seem to be attracted to us and popping into our rooms already have podcasts. We’re going to nurture existing podcasters. That’s easier for us. We can host in the hot seat, that’s what we’re doing there. We can put them in and we can really help them move their show. A bunch of other people can learn from those because people tend to make the same rookie errors as you start a show that sometimes proliferates as you continue on to no matter how many episodes you sometimes have.
Most people don’t get an option. In our business, no one gets a strategy session with me anymore, unless you’re on the air on my show. You just don’t happen. The fact that I’m in that room gives me an opportunity to serve more, which I wish I had more. I know that’s how you’re using your podcast. I know you look at it as service. I can hear it in the way you talk to people, but that service has to have a give-back, I believe. It comes back to you. How are you in that sense? How is that benefiting your business? How has podcasting raised your authority and benefited your business?
As you mentioned, I‘ll use Thrive LOUD, specifically, you already figured out that we found some revenue opportunities for podcasting in how we’re working with Bedside Reading and how we’re doing stuff with AIMeCAST, and others. By the way, I’m doing some podcasts consulting for some of those bigger companies that became a different side of the business, but that’s not the main gig. The main gig of what we do at Thrive is that we work with the most amazing business leaders and brands and help them thrive through the power of connecting.
We do that in the sales, marketing, and leadership roles and helping to work and better connect those skills. That’s what I and some of the consultants I work with help to do for all these amazing clients. The Thrive LOUD podcast was a chance to feature some of those amazing companies and I was helping to work with. They’re not all the amazing Thrive Rockstars, like a Tracy Hazzard. There were a lot of folks out there that we wanted to bring to attention and draw. I recognized, “I’ve got something here.” By the way, it probably took about a hundred some odd episodes for me to figure this out.
For those of you who are newbies out there, it takes time. Lou’s got it dialed in, but he’s had a benefit of a lot of episodes.
It came from a good question. This is a true story, a very good friend of mine, Phil M Jones, a very well-known speaker, knows exactly what to say. He’s got the Words With Friends podcast, by the way, which is adorable. He always picks a word and he picks an expert to speak about it. It’s a great program. He does like a video feature on his website. Phil had asked me a while back because I was questioning, “Was the podcast worth it?” This was about 100 some odd episodes, 150. “Was it worth the time? Was it doing what it was supposed to be doing?” What it was supposed to be doing initially, was to get me more awareness and branding to grow to consult and speaking opportunities.
Truth be told that’s what we created it for, but there was something magical happened, and I didn’t exactly know what it was. I knew that I was getting connections and I knew that it was a very powerful marketing tool, but was I making money with it? That’s what we did, was we started to look at the type of guests that we have on Thrive LOUD. We started to categorize them in a different way than we had ever thought about it. We put them in different buckets and gave a number for each one of those buckets. One increasing in number, the higher the number, the more valuable it was to the business of Thrive. Case in point, would you like to know the three buckets?
I would love to know the three buckets.
Bucket number one is what I call Ego. Ego is who can I get on this podcast that it’s going to be like, “You had so on and so on that podcast?” It was people that were famous, entertainers, athletes, actors, newscasters, media people, names that everybody can recognize, even other podcasters that were, pretty globally famous I guess, in that regard and t top authors, top people in their fields. These are people that would be like, “Adds credibility to the Thrive LOUD podcast,” but it doesn’t put a dime in my pocket.
It also gets you, other great guests, because they’re like, “If so-and-so is on it then.” It does feed itself over time.
That’s pure ego. We need someone’s in there because otherwise, it gets a little boring. “Who are these people?” If you want to get some attention, you could be like, “They had so-and-so on that show. That’s pretty neat.” We had one bucket, but two buckets though were very important. Category 2, we called out the thought leaders, the podcasters, the innovators, the ones that Thrive LOUD. These are the people that you have probably had in your show. These are Binge Factor people. These are the ones that are great guests. This is the stuff that people tune in and listen to. Hopefully, they’re right now, like Lou Diamond would fit into that category. He’s a number two. I’d like to think I’m number one. I’m a number two in this particular thing. My wife calls me number two all the time. Number two is valuable because we have most of our content fits into the two. The two is another connective way to promote the podcast because as great as it is to say, “I have somebody as a number one in the ego,” make it clear.
The lovely actress, Shannon Elizabeth, was amazing from the American Pie movies. She’s not going out and she’s spending time advertising Thrive LOUD on our behalf as great as it is. We’re glad to have her. she’s done some cool things for us. The twos are great because they are the best promoters. They want to promote themselves, if they are guests on the show, they will share this podcast with everybody. They were probably responsible for the biggest growth of listeners for our business. Twos are important, more important than ones. There are the threes. The threes are the people that put money in my pocket. The threes are the prospective clients. These are the people that I want to work with. The threes are the people that are going to hire me, Lou diamond, and my company Thrive for our business services. Here’s what we learned, you can’t have all threes on a podcast program. Who the hell would ever listen? It would be so self-serving. It would never work.If you only take in prospective clients as guests to your podcast, it would be so self-serving. It would never work. Click To Tweet
I have quite a segment of my clients who do that. They can’t watch their numbers. It’s very frustrating and scary for them. They might have 100 listeners and that’s it. Their funnel works. If they look at it as a podcast, the funnel works and most of the people come through it have no idea, but their business model has to be at the right level for that to work. Your client base isn’t at that right level for that to work, you still have to have a great show to make it work for you. You’ve got to step up.
These are CEOs of companies, these are people who are like heads of private equity groups who are looking to invest. This is definitely a higher clientele than your solopreneur, entrepreneur type of person. That would be a revenue person for us. By the way, I have done one-on-one coaching for those types of people that were twos, but became a three, because we found a relationship that we could work together. Few and far between most of them are different, but they were also important for another reason. It was huge exposure for them also to be on this podcast.
A lot of these are up-and-coming mid-tier type companies that are looking for that type of marketing and this was easy. “I can hire Lou to help me with this and the payback? I’m going to work with them and they’re going to make more money.” That’s exactly why they bring you in. The threes became the business model with the 1, 2 and 3. Each month we have a formula of how many points. We can’t have all three as I said. If I had twelve episodes a month, I can’t have 36 points on all my different guests. I have somewhere in the low twenties, mid-twenties is probably what it is, but make it clear, spread out over the year, you start to figure out where those numbers come in.
Over time, you do start to see that overlap between the 1s, 2s, and 3s that do become clients anyway. It starts to work over time.
I’ve had one who called me up and said, “I need to speak with you because I’m speaking at a big event. I want you to bring your podcast to the event. I’m going to pay you to do it. I’m going to give you a chance to speak in one of the breakout rooms.” I’m like, “Done.”
I want to talk a little bit about how you do things and why your show is so great. I want to get to your Binge Factor. When in the scope of your show, did you realize that people were bingeing on it and that you had a bingeable show?
Once we got to three guests a week, which happened somewhere between 150 and 200 episodes. around there, we started to realize that we had a formula that worked in the episode. The show is short enough that compact enough that people like to listen to. My favorite story was someone asked me if we can make the show a little bit longer because they were commuting to work. They would get through one episode and then they started the next, and then they had a week all day because they got to work already.
Isn’t that nice when your audience goes, “Could you make a show longer? I would like more from you?”
That’s amazing. I thought we wanted it to be brief, bright and gone, which is what we signed off the show with. It was fascinating to know that. That happened when we started to figure out the formula. I just gave you the 1s, 2s, and 3s. I also got to the point where I had to stop saying yes to people coming on the show. I had to start by saying, “Now, I have to have a process to see if they fit into these buckets and fit into our little formula and aren’t going to value the key things that I want about Thrive LOUD.” They have to fit into the fact that, “Are they Thrive LOUD worthy?”
You have these binge listeners who you have to serve.
We have to serve people because what we want are people that are thriving in their lives, their businesses, and their passions every day, and in the program, we decode it for you. We map out what it is about that amazing person that you’re speaking to and what they are doing that you can use that can change the way that you think about things or add it to your world or connect with that type of person. That is what we want and that’s why we’re doing bingeable. Once we got to that and people were like, “This is good. Keep them coming.” We can’t stop.
I know you feel that pressure of it. What do you think your binge factor and all of that? What is that key thing that makes you so special that people want to listen to your show?
During Clubhouse, I’ve been asking the three guests who come on. Their shows had just been released. They’ve heard it. It’s fresh in their ears. It probably wasn’t so long ago that I had recorded with them and I asked them, “What was the experience like? Did you have fun coming on Thrive LOUD?” I’m not doing this to pat on my back, but I am. I’m going to. Not only did they have fun, they said, “I challenged them in the interview in a way that they didn’t think.” It wasn’t cookie cutter. It wasn’t a pre-planned thing. I do the research, but I try to make the interview as engaging and in the direction that the guest wants to go.
I don’t want to force them down rabbit holes that I feel I want to go down. I might challenge them and push them a little bit, but I’m going to hit where they are now. I want to be as present as possible and I‘ve been commended for that a lot. I do feel and I know this, that those Thrive LOUD Rockstars, they’re now like real friends. They’re real connections that want to help me after that conversation. They’re like, “What can I do for you?” It is the number one thing. I’m a pretty nice easygoing guy, but I also want to make sure though that they get their message out. That it’s all about what they want to do, I don’t know what a lot of hosts are doing. Some of them are programmed. The reason Thrive LOUD started was because I had a bad experience on a podcast show. Do you want to know the real quick version of that?
Yeah. Let’s learn that version.
I had my book, Master the Art of Connecting. I was given a form that I had to answer before the podcast and it was eight questions and I had to answer those eight questions, and then they asked if we could do a pre-call before the live recording. They wanted me to stick to the script, whatever I wrote, they wanted me to say back. I said, “Why don’t you just digitize this and put anyone’s voice? Why does it matter?” It gets better. We do the rehearsal and now we go to the real live thing and I couldn’t even believe I accepted to do this.
I would have bailed out, so bravo to you for going all the way to check it out.
I was too green at this point to do it. My book publicist was the one that set it up, so I was trusting them a little bit. At the end of the interview, there was two things that happened. One, the host was mailing it in. They did not put any energy or passion into it. It felt like they were reading it and then the rudest thing in the entire world. The interview ended and I go, “Thank you so much for the opportunity. Thank you for having me on your show.”
He does a sign-off and it comes back off. He goes, “You changed the wording of what you were going to say on the eight–question.” Before I apologized, I don’t even know why, I was about to say, “I’m sorry.” I stopped myself and I said, “Is it that different?” “It is to me.” At that point, I said, “Can you do me a favor?” He goes, “Yeah.” I go, “Please, don’t air my podcast on your show. Cancel it because you’ve inspired me to do something and I’ll be back.” It’s what I said and I hung up and disconnected. I said, “I am going to create a podcast that’s the exact opposite of what that was.”
Yours was the exact opposite of that. Bravo for you. You said, “I’m not going to do this. I’m going to do it differently.” It wouldn’t be The Binge Factor if I didn’t cycle analyze your show and give you what I believe your Binge Factor is. You are right on in a good part of what you’ve got going in. You are connecting in motion. That is the key. You’re demonstrating what you are truly an expert in and that’s connecting right there on the fly, in motion, on air. You’re doing that brilliantly, but it is the fun factor that you’re bringing in that I want to mention because we haven’t talked about this yet. You have what I would call pattern disruption going on at the beginning of your show.
You didn’t have it always. It’s on the newer side to it, but you have different intros that are absolutely hilarious. I wanted to go all the way through and find all the different ones and listen to all the beginnings of every single episode I could that you had this on because they were so funny. It had this Murphy Brown secretary where Murphy Brown, the TV show used to bring on a different secretary all the time. It was usually somebody famous and they were terrible secretaries and it was a hilarious bit that they would have that ongoing through each episode. That’s what you got going at the beginning of your show. It is this fun and then you do have a recurring bit that I’m assuming you use on social media. We will talk about that because I want to talk about engagement.
You have this bit that you do that is called Fun Street and you take everybody to it and you do this fast. What I’d love is that because your guests have had so much fun over the course and they‘ve gotten their energy up. I’ve seen you. You take someone who may not be too super high energy, but by the time they hit Fun Street, they are ready to go. You hit them at the right moment with that and then it’s this fast bunch of questions, like your favorite movies and your favorite foods and stuff like that. Sometimes they’re like, “I feel really bad about what I said. That wasn’t even an interesting food. I wished I could have thought something better.” I’m like, “No, but it’s your favorite food?” That sets everything up for the energy you want to create, but demonstrating how that fun, that being in the moment, that true engagement that you’re creating at that time and the rapport that you’re building is the reason you’re successful at what you do as a connector.
Thank you for that. That’s the highest regards I could imagine from this. I do appreciate it. We do take a lot of time to think about it. Our openings have been from the interns that sometimes do some funny stuff. Let’s give a shout-out to Steve O’Brien. He is one of the greatest voices ever who read famous movie quotes but does a spin on them that relates it to either me or Thrive LOUD. That has always been some of the most fun things. I’ll make sure that you get a chance, maybe I’ll even give you the audio copy for this episode, if you want, for what he did for the 600th episode, which is one of the most brilliant things we’ve done. He’s done a whole bunch of them. The openings are fun.
Everyone out there, they’re going to give me the little clip part. You get a sneak peek into how fun that is.
We will do that, and trust me, it’s worth the lesson alone. When it came to Fun Street, the other big special reason why this show continues at the pace that it does is that I owe and bow down to my amazing Thrive LOUD interns. There have been close to 30 of them. These are some college students who are Communication major and they are more than brilliant. They have come up with some of the themes. They were the ones who came up with ideas, for which movies we can mix with. They’ve come up with special ideas for milestone episodes. They’ve even taken over the program, which was one of my favorites, The Interns Takeover.
They used a very cute intro from Mission Impossible like, “We stole the keys. We came in and we broke into the studio and we recorded the episode,” but they’re also the ones who put together a lot of the minisodes. They do the intros and outros that you hear on the show, and they were the ones that came up with Fun Street. They said, “If you want to end the show on a high note, maybe you need some speed questions, fast things that are fun, that motivate you, that keep you pumped up, that elevate your game and that are things that make you thrive.” We said, “That must be the things that people love and I want them happy at the end of the episode for a lot of reasons,” specifically those in that three categories. I also want it because I want the listener to also kind of like, “I want to see what they’re doing.”Every day should be bookended with fun from beginning to end. Click To Tweet
It can happen so often. This is one of my interview tactics. I have a training program that I teach when I get clients in who feel uncomfortable with the interview process. A lot of times we are too serious in our interview, or we’re too hard–hitting like you and I, and we’ve been hitting it from the ground running to talk about podcasting and the industry and all of those things. We didn’t get a chance to hit the personal. My recommendation is that we end with the personal or end with something that is service–driven, and that’s exactly what you’ve done with that. It ties it in and gives them a chance to be human at the end instead of these corporate people, or whatever it is that they’re doing, and that’s much needed for the audience as well.
It’s a shift that we do intentionally in the interviews. We start off with the business or the things that they’re doing and it slowly moves to the personal, and then it gets to the fun stuff. That’s our theme and we find that every day should start and be book-ended with fun from beginning to end.
I could go on for hours with you, but I want to make sure that we touch on some things that I know are important to the audience here. That is the engagement piece. You’ve been talking about how you’re trying to build up some engagement on Clubhouse and other things, but are you using the five tips? Are you using your five Fun Street questions? Are you using the minisodes? How are you using them in social media to try to encourage engagement with listeners?
I would love to tell you that there is a standard format for it, but it depends on what ended up happening. I’m going to use an example. I had an opportunity to interview Amberly Lago. She is a former fitness trainer. She is an amazing person and speaker. She had a tragic accident and has recovered. She lives with unbelievable pain every day. She might be the nicest person I’ve ever met. Somebody that you look at because she’s beautiful. She also is beautiful on the inside too, from all the things that have happened to her and you realize like, “You want to hate her, but it’s impossible. You love her.” That might’ve been one of the best episodes. We’ll create small snippets that we’ll put on Instagram. Sometimes there’ll be injected into the stories or we’ll make a full post about it.
We’ll put them in LinkedIn as well so that on LinkedIn, they’ll have a chance to connect if it’s a business-related audience. We’ve even done some best of montages of that too. That’s the minisode piece, where if somebody had a great nugget, we’ll try maybe a year from the date of that original episode or even sooner on something timely like the new book launch or whatnot. We’ll time someone’s episode. If they came out early and they have a book coming out six months later. If their episode was before, we’ll bring back a minisode right at that point. We will market it, push the book, push the product and linked back to it. Those minisodes are great and they’re short. They’re like 4 or 5 minutes, so they’re quick little doses. Anything we can do to keep the connection loop going and we’re pretty much in Instagram and LinkedIn. I’m going to give you my Facebook and Twitter for whatever reason. We have constant feeds of stuff, but I’m not as twittery or tweety as I should be.
I tell everybody my favorite day was a couple of years ago when I gave up Twitter and I put it on to auto-post and the funniest part is it’s like, I wrote in my profile that, “I don’t post live here. It’s auto-tweets and if you want me live where to find me,” and people still direct message me.
We also did some studies that more people were going directly to the Thrive LOUD website from Instagram and from LinkedIn than any other place. We said, “Let’s stay there.” Clubhouse is the newest.
Clubhouse is driving people right to your Instagram.
Also to my Twitter, but I have not gone there to see what’s happening.
You might need to check your direct messages now.
There are some strange people there. We are using every little bit, slicing and dicing it. One of the coolest comments and you noted this. We came up with a brilliant way because we did this little promo with Spotify. I got a little advertising thing with them that I did. When every seven or so guests, we would do a post on Instagram. We took the image on a phone of the podcast art, as it shows up in Spotify. We would literally put that as the master thing, so we’d say connect with our guests and it would be a slider Instagram thing and each page would be each guest‘s thing. It was cool. The problem was that we caught up. We were going to go ahead of where we needed to do, so we have to come up with something else. We keep trying and all we want to do is find new and innovative ways to use all those mediums to bring people back.
Whitney Lauritsen was on my show and she’s also my social media strategist. She said something so fantastic to me. She was telling me about, in a sense, looking at her guests in the same way and her social media influencers, which the world she came out of. Her social media influence our guests. “The ones that were more celebrity, the ones that had higher followings were the worst sharers, but the ones that were new in a particular platform did well.” She had this one person who was getting into TikTok early, but he blew up her show and she could see a significant tick up in it because he blew up on TikTok. She got in early with him and he was so generous about it. I think you could blow up on TikTok with your minisodes.
It’s funny you say that. There’s a discussion. We’re trying to figure it out. Ever since I saw the documentary, The Social Dilemma, first of all, my daughter literally deleted TikTok from her phone after we watched that. I was like, “What do we do?”
You better watch Fake Famous next, you may want to delete Instagram.
The discussion someone said to me, if you have lots of followers on Instagram, it’s the equivalent of being rich in Monopoly.
I think TikTok might be fun for you because you fit the fun profile there. I could see a montage of all your intros.
Even having people like me mouth out those intros and not even in my voice could be grateful too. Maybe we’ll do something like that.
Put your intern brains against TikTok. I can’t wait to hear what they come up with. You do promos and you had some of them at the very beginning, which is not something I recommend for shows that are new. Keep this in mind, Lou is a great example. He earned the right to do his promos before his episode starts. How do you see conversions on those promos? How are they working for you?
It’s funny because they don’t go exactly as we think they do. Here‘s what I know has worked well. We cross-promoted the other podcasts on Thrive LOUD and noted that it did work. We got listeners over to why they listen because of promos that we put at the top of the show that worked. We’ve tried to do certain live events or certain things. We even did a whole thing like, “Come check out. We’re going to do a big room in Clubhouse, once and we try to time it with that weekend.” It didn’t quite jive as much as it did. It’s the most important lesson that I learned from all of this podcasting.
This is ironic as it’s a binge factor because this is about how you listen. We learned a long time ago that, “It is way more important that people know the episode happened and whether or not they listened to it or not initially.” I say that. The profoundness is this, we had Mark Bomback, who is a world-famous screenwriter. He did all the Planet of the Apes movies, and maybe most specifically, he wrote the movie Unstoppable, which is what got him recognized that train movie with Denzel Washington. He’s brilliant. He’s got a whole bunch of other things. He is an executive producer for a whole bunch of stuff. He’s an awesome guy.
I had him on the show and I did a post on social media and I put it out there. Someone came up to me and said, “I saw that you had Mark Bomback on your show.” This was early on when Thrive LOUD started. I said to him like, “What did you think?” He goes, “I didn’t get a chance to listen to it yet, but I’m going to.” I walked away and I remembered I’m in the car and my wife was with me and I said, “They’re not listening.” I stopped and go, “But he knew about it and he’s going to listen. What does that tell me?” It told me that people are going to listen when they can binge. They’re going to listen when they can get to it.
I can’t always know when that’s going to be so timely promotions have to be things that can go evergreen. The promotions have to be, “Go check out Thrive LOUD certain services or another podcast, or things that are going to last a little bit longer.” Because of that small window of time that you can try and get something to promote that might be in a time window, it’s hard to nail down. Someone might be a few weeks off from when they get to it. I can’t push them to have to listen. We just hope that they hear enough about it and see enough about it to get them there quicker.
We’re going to have to talk about Podetize after this call because that’s exactly why I invented Podetize. I learned that same thing. I had a mentorship that we were offering and it was a contest and I wanted it, and I was like, “Now, it’s done. I don’t want people to have this in there. I want to remove it.” My editor, who’s now my son-in-law, told me, “It’s going to cost as much for me to take it out as it was to put it in.” I was like, “That’s not going to happen. I challenged my team to figure out a way to do that.”
Hold on. You had kids at thirteen, didn’t you?
We just did an episode where I admitted that I’m 50 and my daughter works for me. She just turned 26 and she is married. Let’s get a little bit personal. What does your family think of you as a podcaster? Is this a good thing? Is it prestigious or do they go, “Dad’s on the mic again?”
First of all, my daughter has done a couple of audio spots on the show. She has done the ad that reads for Spotify, which we play every once in a while. I’m a little biased towards that. She has a really good voice, which is good too. My wife certainly doesn’t listen as much. She listens to the ones that she knows the guest or she’s familiar with the topic. I had one of her classmates on, a big best-selling author, Ron Lieber, which was a cool thing about The Price You Pay for College. It was an amazing conversation. That’s the stuff that she likes. She can’t keep up but she knows two things. She knows that little formula thing did show some results. The business is picking up because of the work of the podcasting that I’ve put into this. There are times that she will give me and goes, “It’s a marketing engine. You have to stop. You don’t have to go so crazy.”
She’s not going to let your head grow over this.
The fact that people will come up to me and tell me, “She’s not getting any of those. Your husband’s Lou Diamond on Thrive LOUD.” She’s not getting any of those. She definitely keeps me checked. My kids know about it and they recognize it, but it’s like, “It’s dad’s podcast, whatever it is. It is what it is.”
They don’t always give you credit. I have two young ones too, they’re always on the mic, but they like to be on the mic, but they’re like, “No, this podcasting thing is weird.” You got a cool studio going on there. If you’ve got someone new out there, who’s struggling to start a podcast thinking about it. What are your tips for them?
Podfading is real if you don’t believe in what you’re doing and you have to have a passion. This is work. Make it clear, it’s fun. I’d also argue, you’re not going to be perfect. You’re going to make mistakes. Those mistakes will only be lessons that will help you become a better podcaster, a better interviewer, a better marketer, a better promoter. It is important. I go back and listen, even the way you speak will change. I go back to some of the earlier episodes. I go, “What was I doing?” I was speaking 100 miles an hour.
Now there’s a different cadence and things that you learn. It is a process. What I will say from a business perspective, it is the greatest connect working tool I have ever dealt with podcasting, because you get to connect and network with some of the most amazing people. If done correctly and you work at it, you will find ways to monetize and grow the aspect of your business if it fits that way, or maybe most importantly fulfill a passion that maybe you’ve always wanted to do to get your voice out there. Be patient and keep at it is the advice I would give to you as it relates to starting up a show.
I hope that the audience takes some notes going on. Remember, because I interviewed Lou in an article before this, there’s another companion article, which goes through some of those basic questions that we typically talk about here that I skipped over to get to the advanced stuff with Lou. If you want to get some of those basics and beginning advice, we’ve got those in the article. Lou Diamond, thank you so much for coming on the show. You definitely Thrive LOUD. I look forward to seeing what you’re going to do in your next 600.
Tracy, this is the open invite to your show. How the heck we haven’t had you on the program is absolutely irresponsible. Here’s the deal let’s do that. I’ll do the homework at home.
I look forward to it and I’d be honored, Lou.
I love an episode where I have so many notes about things I want to follow up on, things I want to try and things I want to test out. I love that when I can learn many things from such a brilliant podcaster and Lou is working on it. He said, “This is work.” He’s working it and having fun at the same time, you are going to love his show absolutely. You’re going to love his style. There are many great takeaways from it. This is a show to listen to, check out, Thrive LOUD, check out all of them. Check out the way Diamond Cuts Money Talks, The Authors That Thrive, which is run through the Bedside Reading program. That’s a brilliant one. The new one, Why They Listen, a partnership with AIMeCAST.
Check it out. See what he’s doing, how he’s trying things out and what’s working. See if some of these tips that Lou has given you and some of the reveal about how he does stuff, can work for you to increase your listeners, encourage engagement and do all of those brilliant things that get you to be a top podcaster like Lou Diamond. I am so glad I could connect up with Lou. I’m going to do some more connection with them, get some more details, find out some more things and I’ll be sure to share them on a future episode. I think we’re going to have to have him back again at some point, which I haven’t done on the show yet. Wouldn’t that be fun? Let’s take it one day at a time as a show because that’s all you can do. As Lou said, “It can get overwhelming. Find your tactic, your strategy and your way.” Maybe it’s batch recording, having a bigger team or getting some help somewhere from a service company. Whatever it is, go out there, reach out and find it.
When you give it a chance, this thing can do great things for you and your business, just like it has for Lou Diamond and his Thrive LOUD brand. I’d love to learn from you. I love to see you pop into Clubhouse. Go check out the Thrive LOUD Clubhouse and also go check out the Podetize Clubhouse because we have one now. I would love to see you there. Wouldn’t you like to be at the host in the hot seat next time? You can get me and Tom, my partner to check out your show and give you some advice on what little shifts, tweaks and things it might take for you to develop your binge factor and create a successful podcast that serves you, your business and your audience all-in-one. Thanks, everyone for reading. I’ll be back next time with another Binge Factor.
- Authority Magazine – “Create a Bingeable Podcast Through Connecting Out Loud” with Lou Diamond of the Thrive Loud Podcast
- Thrive LOUD
- Lou Diamond – LinkedIn
- Why They Listen
- Diamond Cuts Money Talks – Apple Podcasts
- Authors That Thrive
- John Lee Dumas – Previous episode on Thrive LOUD Podcast
- Bedside Reading
- Steve Rimland – Previous episode on Thrive LOUD Podcast
- The Rewatchables
- Thrive LOUD RockStars
- Words With Friends
- Master the Art of Connecting
- Steve O’Brien – Previous episode on Thrive LOUD Podcast
- The Interns Takeover – Previous episode on Thrive LOUD Podcast
- Instagram – Lou Diamond
- LinkedIn – Lou Diamond
- Facebook – Thrive LOUD
- Twitter – Lou Diamond
- Whitney Lauritsen – Previous episode
- Mark Bomback – Previous episode on Thrive LOUD Podcast
- Ron Lieber – Previous episode on Thrive LOUD Podcast
- The Price You Pay for College
- Podetize Clubhouse
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