There’s a lot of gumption and a lot of action that has to be taken to be a podcaster. Connie Benjamin embodies that. Connie is an international speaker, a podcast host of My Fire Within Radio, and the number one bestselling international author of the book Women With Fire. On today’s show, she sits down with Tracy Hazzard for a discussion about how you can fire up your podcast interviews. This conversation will remind you why you started your show or why you’re interested in starting your show. You wouldn’t want to miss it as Connie shares a great model for how to trust that fire within.
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Fire Up Your Podcast Interview! See How To Let More Unique Influence And Passion Glow With Connie Benjamin Of My Fire Within Radio
I’ve got not an entrepreneur on fire, but a podcaster on fire and influencer on fire. I’ve got Connie Benjamin on. She has got the podcast, My Fire Within Radio. She’s also the number one bestselling international author of the book Women With Fire, and an international speaker. The story of how I met her is interesting and fun. This is what I want to start this episode with. I met her at one of my speaking engagements for a company called CEO Space. They are an entrepreneur accelerator. I’ve been involved with them on and off. I do one form a year for them since 2015. It’s been quite a while that we’ve known each other and we’d been through there.
I never met Connie. She wasn’t a member. I saw her cover art. When I met her at the meeting, I saw her name. She told me she was a podcast host. She told me the name of it. I immediately popped it up and noticed on her cover art an image of the hotel that this company, CEO Space, this networking group used to hold their event when I first started going with them. It was in Lake Las Vegas. It has a big fire pit behind it. It’s recognizable. I spent many nights sitting out there talking with entrepreneurs. I said, “Connie, is this where you took this photo?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Have you been a member of CEO Space before when they used to be at that hotel?”
She said, “I didn’t know they were at that hotel.” We had this small world moment where our past could have crossed before, it didn’t. Now they’re crossing again because of the podcasting world and because of a great networking group that we both belong to. I love that model of bringing everything together. It gets you into a place of growing and building your network even stronger. Those connections make for stronger connections and stronger interviews. You’re going to know that because we already have a rapport that we’ve been building as we’ve been chatting back and forth both from the networking group and getting to know each other and getting to see if we’re a right fit for each other’s shows.
This is something that you can do is build that rapport ahead of time. You’re going to see why that’s valuable because I know a little bit about Connie’s story. I’m going to share a little bit about our story with you so that you have a little bit of context before we go into the interview. After nearly losing her marriage and almost giving up on her entrepreneurial journey, she began a quest to live her mission in both her business and her family. She developed the My Fire Within system that helped her fall in love with her husband again, launch her bestselling book, and love being a stay-at-home parent with her three daughters.
This is where Connie and I relate again, three daughters and three daughters. Connie is now on a mission to empower other entrepreneurs to build trust with themselves and the people they love and their customers. She is passionate about helping speakers, authors, coaches and influencers who feel like their unintentional best-kept secret to cut through the noise of the online world so they can powerfully share their message through her unique intentional interview process.
Connie’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs to fulfill their divine purpose so they can uplift their family and humanity through socially responsible business purposes. I know you’re going to love talking with Connie Benjamin. You’re going to see a lot of yourself. You’re going to see a lot of why you started your show or why you’re interested in starting your show in this. You’re going to see that path and how sometimes it veers off, it comes back, and we’re always guiding that. Connie has a great way. She has a great model for how to trust that fire within. She uses it to help others see that as well. I know you’re going to enjoy this episode. Let’s hear from Connie.
Connie, I’m excited to talk about My Fire Within.
You are awesome. I’m grateful to be here.
Talk about Women With Fire. You’ve got some fire going on. You have been flying through this podcasting process, getting your show set up, getting episodes recorded, finding great guests. I’m excited to have you because there’s a lot of gumption and action that has to be taken to be a podcaster. You embody that. Tell me what gave you that impetus to start podcasting?
It is true that it does take some gumption. It is a bit of a crazy world. I love it. For me, it was a moment that I received some divine inspiration saying that, “I needed to interview some of the top world experts.” Once I started realizing that by doing that process, having a podcast and interviewing these world-renowned experts, that I had the most amazing minds at my fingertips. Tracy, I got hooked. I was like, “If I could interview and podcast all day long, that would be my happy place.” It was amazing at meeting these incredible people, hearing their stories, hearing the times that they fell down, how they got back up, how they achieve success. It’s been an incredible journey to hear their own fire within as well.
I love that you call it my happy place like that. That for me is interviewing as well because I live in a world of curiosity. I want to learn new things. Now that I can make that a part of my job, that becomes my happy place. I was talking with another podcaster. The interview will be coming out. He mentioned something that he called that it was his intangible return on investment was the interview process. Are you seeing that? What return on investment are you seeing both for yourself and for your business from the interviews that you do?
This has been a wild ride. I’m excited to share some of this crazy entrepreneurial journey with you. When I first started podcasting, I had no idea how it was going to monetize, how this might work within my business. I didn’t have a Tracy to guide me. I was new to trying to figure it out. It took a long time where I was interviewing. I was not getting any return on investment. It was a way to build influence. I loved that part of it as well. I noticed that even by itself, it was an incredible way to build influence. You meet one person and with the right systems in place, they keep introducing you to more and more incredible people. That’s what I found happened to the point where I was interviewing some top world leaders and I’m going, “I can’t even believe they’re talking to me. This is amazing.”
Tell us some of those cool stories that inspired you there. What were some of the great interviews that you personally loved?
One interview I’m thinking about is one time I was interviewing Dame Doria Cordova. Doria is this incredible light that has served many people worldwide. She partnered with Robert Kiyosaki and Tony Robbins learned from her and all of these greats. I’m talking with her having this incredible conversation and realizing it was a moment in the conversation where she said something to me. She said, “I don’t usually talk about that during an interview.” I realized like, “This is getting good.” I realized at that moment that the connection that I could build in an interview with somebody amazing was more powerful than any other connection I could create. I found that when I could use interviewing as a way to truly serve, to be present with that person in a way that they don’t get anywhere else, it opened doors of opportunity. It’s a side result that happened unexpectedly but was appreciated by me.
Did you train? Had you done a lot of interviews before? Did you take a course, read a book? What did you do to help yourself up your game in interviewing?
What’s funny is when I reflect back on my life, I’ve been interviewing my entire life. This is part of what I love to do. It wasn’t until I reflected back and I thought about all the years that I spent doing social work. This is where I started off. My journey is crazy. I started as a social worker. I loved what I did, but I also wanted to be able to move and to be able to take care of our kids because we were living in an area of town that was unsafe. That’s what made me go into the entrepreneurial space.
When I reflect back on those moments, I remember sitting there in the social work part of my life and hearing the story, looking for the story, looking for the strengths within that story. It’s been amazing to see how much those moments in time, even as a little kid, always looking for the story, how much those moments have led up to what I do now, which is uncovering people’s story in a way that they cannot tell themselves. I’ve always done this. I’ve always interviewed.
That’s such a good point that you have this innate skill. You’ve honed it by some of the experiences you’ve had as a social worker. By doing many interviews in a row, you’re honing it for a good purpose. Are you always thinking about your interest? Are you thinking about the audience’s interest when you choose your questions?
I’m thinking about a couple of things. One, I’m thinking about that audience. I’m thinking about that one entrepreneur that’s listening and maybe they’re working out or they’re in the grocery store and they’ve got us plugged in. They’re looking for answers within their business. How can they overcome a hurdle? I’m thinking about that person. I’m also thinking about the person that’s in front of me, the person that I’m in that interview with and trying to be as present as possible with them. My intention is to always help them to tell the story they can’t tell themselves.
Whether that’s through the interviewing process that I do with them or through the other work that I do through influencer interviewing. I want them to be able to share stories that they can’t access on their own. That’s what I find is that often during that process and to be totally transparent, being guided by the divine as well. That place where those pieces meet, where the presence of the guests, the presence of doing my best to be present, the presence of the creator of the universe and stepping into that place and honoring the person that listens. I find that’s where the stories that change my life, the goosebumps stories, that’s what I’m looking for.
It’s interesting that you mentioned the idea of looking for that thread of stories and that tying to an influencer interview. You’re bringing out the influencer in people when you interview them, that’s the slight twist on it. Many of us want to be interviewed by an influencer. This is what I hear from my clients all the time. They want some bigger influencer to interview them. The reality is that a bigger influence isn’t bringing out your great influence at the end of the day. It’s not helping. How do you find that? How do you look for the place that person could have the most influence on your audience or on their audience?
That’s such a beautiful question. It is this amazing relationship that happens during the conversation where we’re trying to edify and uplift. We’re also bringing in the questions. I’ve talked to guests before that have been in many different interviews. Sometimes I’ve had to reassure them. I’m not going to ask you something that’s going to make you look bad. They’ve been in other podcasts or in other situations where they’ve been thrown a curveball or they’ve been asked a question that’s made to catch them. I want them to know that when they’re in my space, it’s a safe place. There’s this balance of one seeking to understand where they’re coming from and helping the audience to understand where they’re coming from. When I can see them as the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my life. I truly believe that each guest’s story is amazing. They’re incredible. If I can see them that way and I can draw out the stories that help the audience to see them in that way, I feel like that’s when the conversation gets lit up. They get authentic. They can be themselves and they can step into that place where they have the influence in the conversation. I’m guiding it along to help them share it even more.
When you started your podcast, what was the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenge goes back to the question you asked at the beginning of this episode. I’ll go back to that. You asked the question about how do you monetize this? What does this look like in terms of return on investment? That’s been the biggest challenge that I’ve faced in that journey. I spent a long time trying to figure it out and banging my head against the wall. I wish I had found this podcast earlier, Tracy. One of the things that made a big difference for me is understanding that if I could create something where I could truly serve the people that I would be interviewed, that would be on my episodes, on my show. If I truly had a way to serve them, that’s a way that it could start shifting things. That’s what’s happened to me.
I don’t know if you know a lot about my story, but my husband and I have been speaking and training for about a decade. We’ve been going internationally through Canada and the States. We’ve been doing that work. We’ve seen the journey of entrepreneurs. We’ve seen how challenging this entrepreneurial journey can be. One of the things that we’re passionate about is supporting entrepreneurs with getting their message out. That’s something that after interviewing people was probably after I spent about 3,000 hours, Tracy. In fact, I remember it. I counted it one day. I was like, “How much time have I spent in this interviewing space? It was after about 3,000 hours that I realized that I saw their genius. I knew how amazing these people were. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Sometimes I felt like, “Why didn’t I know about this person two years ago? They’re amazing why didn’t I know about them.” I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. Have you ever felt like that?
All the time, and I say that because I came out of the product world, and my gift was being able to see that path of where that product could fit in the marketplace and be successful. It didn’t mean that it meant it was the most direct path. It didn’t mean it was the only path, but to get someone to follow that was impossible. They got caught up in their thing. They were still over and nurturing their lovely thing. They weren’t action takers. That’s where the inventors lived. I was like, “It’s my gift. I can see it, but it’s frustrating to me. I’m going to find and use my gifts somewhere else.” The podcasting path is a lot easier to get people to take the steps to do because it’s not as hard, not as expensive.
I love that you talk about that because you could see it. That’s your gift. It’s clear as day. Go this way and this is the way you need to go. Sometimes, they weren’t able to go down that road.
You’re touching on the edge of your binge factor, so I’m giving you a little hint here. Are you a binge listener?In any conversation, truly try and be as present as you can possibly be. Click To Tweet
I am when I totally love the show.
You understand what binge listeners like. Did you imagine that people were binge listening to your show?
No, I didn’t. I don’t know. The thought never crossed my mind. It always surprises me when someone comes to me and says, “Connie, I heard this episode and this one and this one.” I’m thinking, “How many episodes have you listened to?”
That’s one of my favorite lines from an old movie When Harry Met Sally. I never had anyone quote me back to me before. When that happens, that’s what it’s like. You know you have a binge listener at that moment. What do you think your binge factor is?
My binge factor is that the stories that people get are stories that get to the heart of the entrepreneur, stories that they don’t hear somewhere else. One of the questions that I like to ask is when the entrepreneur is sharing their journey. They’re sharing the ups and the downs and their success. Sometimes that’s often shared is their success. What’s often not shared is that gap between when they felt inspired to do something. I interviewed purpose-driven entrepreneurs. Those are the people I talk to. Those are the people I work with. That’s my jam. It’s that moment between when they feel inspired to do something great and it all working out. All the faith, the courage and the chaos in between. I love to draw out that story because often that’s the story that’s not told.
They often don’t tell it because it’s messy in that middle. We want to skip to the aspiring part and jump to the great outcome. We gloss over that a lot in our stories. Your binge factor is the fact that you start to see that seed of their story, that genius where it could be helpful to your audience. You’re seeing that path and you light it up with your questions along the way. You sit back, ask the question and listen. You’re pushing them back on the path and you let them keep going and keep telling it. You’re not pulling them through that path.
That’s an interesting way to go about it and do your interviews. It’s a tough way for many hosts to do that and maybe it’s the social worker in you. I’m not sure, but many hosts are too leading. They’re the authority. They’re the guide. They’re the influencer there. They’re pushing their agenda instead of pulling that story out slowly, keeping that path clear that you see yourself. That’s what I see for you. Your binge factor is that you liked that path. You asked the right questions along the way and you take that guest and the audience on that journey from beginning to end.
That’s a beautiful way to put it. I always do a debrief after a conversation. When I’m doing the interview, I always do a debrief. You reading, you’ve got a podcast, do a debrief. That’s helpful. What you’re saying is so true. There are many times where I’ve had amazing guests, world-renowned authors, coaches say to me, “Connie, I’ve never had an interview experience like that before.” I always ask them why. What exactly are you talking about? Often the feedback is exactly what you’re saying, Tracy, them talking about often I’m being asked a lot of questions, but it’s the interviewer trying to look good. In this conversation, you’re making me try and look good. You’re helping me to shine. They also talk a lot about energy. This is something that often we don’t talk about in the interviewing space, but it is something that is cool.
I’m glad you brought this up because you do have a different energy in your show. That’s why all of you readers out there need to go to My Fire Within Radio and check out Connie’s energy and that path that I talked about, the way she asks her questions.
Thank you for that. That’s always the feedback I get. I say, “What did you love about the show? What could be even better?” I ask, “What can I do to support you?” If you did not write down those questions, make sure you write down those questions because that is gold. In the conversation, I truly try and be as present as I can possibly be. I remember having one guest. She’s a world-renowned author. She’s leading a council of leaders, Teresa de Grosbois. She leads the Evolutionary Business Council. I remember interviewing her after and saying, “What was it like to be in that conversation?” She said, “Connie, I’ve never been in a conversation like that before, the way you insert your energy into what I’m talking about.”
There are moments where she’d be sharing her story. I’m asking her, “What do you mean, Teresa? Tell me everything.” She’s been on thousands of interviews. This lady is incredible. I’m asking her, “What exactly do you mean?” She says to me, “When I’m talking, oftentimes what happens is I’m gauging them whether they’re going to interrupt me or not. I don’t feel like it can go on with my story. When you’re listening, when you’re truly being present with me, I could feel your energy. Engaging in conversation, even those moments of like, ‘I’m hearing, you keep going.’ I could take this story a lot further because of that energy that was being injected as opposed to other conversations that I’ve had that the host wasn’t able to put that out there.” I thought that was an interesting take on what’s happening.
Let’s go into some of our tips. You’re going to have some enlightening tips for the audience here. It’s a different model of the way that you are looking at your guest choices, your listeners and other things. What are some of the best ways that you find to get those great guests?
That’s the best question in the world. This is my favorite tip because I never have a problem getting amazing guests. I booked out months to the point where I invite somebody to be on the show and they say, “Connie, your schedule is all booked out.” I’m like, “I know there’s nothing I can do about it because you’re too amazing. There are too many amazing people.” It’s because of one thing. That one thing is that I always ask for a referral. Who else do you know that needs to have their story told on this show? Everyone has an amazing referral. What I noticed is from that first episode that I did, I got introduced to more and more influential people. That’s what’s happened.
You’re building up a great network here, Connie. I’m hearing a return on investment. Maybe you haven’t identified it yet. Let’s talk about increasing listeners. How do you increase your listener base?
This is something that I’m working to crack the code on. This is something that I see as an area that I need to grow in. One thing that I’m doing is seeking ways to truly engage with the listeners. Different apps where we can engage with the listener, encouraging people to comment below, making sure people have some call to action that they’re engaging with me. That’s one way that I’m doing. The other way that I’ve noticed that’s been amazing too is recognizing that I have a platform. When we have a podcast, we have a platform. I’m always surprised at the incredibly influential, amazing people that I think, “Would they want to be on my show?” They always do. Recognizing that when I’ve got a platform, I can be connected with incredible people. When the more and more incredible people get connected with my platform, it means the more they’re going to share it with their audience, the more the platform grows.
Production is always a part that trips up a lot of people. How do you produce your show like a pro?
I’m a systems girl. I have a million systems in place. One thing that I do is I truly have a system for everything. I have a system for booking my guests. They fill out a questionnaire. It’s specific. It’s got all the call information, all the questions that I need, everything in there because I don’t have time to chase them for bios and headshots.
You have systems for all of these things and that’s what keeps you organized. Is that also what helps you prepare best and be more professional in the interview process?
Absolutely because I got the information and then I can prepare quickly. I’ve got three kiddos. Life is crazy sometimes. I don’t have a big chunk of time to prepare. When that questionnaire is all done, I already have a sense of who this person is and what the conversation will be. I cannot wait to have you on the show. I am goosebumps excited about this.
This is a tip for all of you. A lot of times, I invite someone on the show and they immediately turn around and invite me back. This is a great way. A podcast swap is a great way to build your network together. That’s a cooperative model. We love that. Your systems are all working well together. Let’s talk about what that engagement looks like. How do you encourage that engagement? I have not had success in a lot of the engagement podcasting platforms that make it worth my amount of time. What about you? What have you found?
I know that as a podcaster, there are a couple of barriers that we have to true engagement. There are a few things that I know about the community. One is that if we can truly have an easy way to have a back and forth communication, engagement is going to go up. The other thing that I know is gamification works. If we have something that when people do something, they get something, people like that. I love free stuff. I don’t know about you, but I love getting free stuff. It’s fun. I feel like I won the lottery here. It’s like Christmas morning.
I know for myself that as a general principle. When we use gamification so people can get rewards for engaging, whether that’s, “If you comment below, you can get a free copy of my eBook or you can win a free coaching session or whatever it is that we have to offer.” If we can also include that engagement in the podcast itself as well, comment, tell me what your biggest challenges have been with podcasting and get that engagement built out. I found that when I do that in other models, for example, Facebook groups or my community, I noticed that people want to share. They want to share their experience. They want to share what they learned. We need to strategically ask.Always seek for ways to truly engage with the listeners. Click To Tweet
We were talking about return on investment monetization. This is something that you’ve been searching for a couple of years since you started it. What’s the latest direction you’re taking on the best ways to monetize your show?
One thing that has been amazing is that I found a way to serve my audience and to serve the guests that come on the show. After about 3,000 hours of interviewing people, I started to realize that sometimes their messages weren’t getting out into the online space. I feel like with the global situation, I truly believe that the online space is crowded. We had the brick and mortar going online. There are more coaches now than ever before that are going online. Everybody’s got an online program, it’s getting crowded. Because of the stress of what’s happened, you look in the world, there are stresses around health stress. There’s political stress is what we’re dealing with.
There are many different stresses that are happening globally. People are getting tired of promises that fall short and the same old thing happening over and over. Skepticism is going up. I began to see that part of what’s happening is that there’s a need for true authenticity, understanding the person’s story in a way that they could never understand before. I realized that this is important. A lot of entrepreneurs are sharing their message in traditional means. If we look at some of the stats that have come out with Engine Land, 70 to 80% of people aren’t even looking at the ads. If we can finally figure out the ads and we do it and we get the ad person, 70 to 80%, aren’t even looking at them.
There are a few select percent of us that are gaming the system to screw around with the ads so that they never show to us at all. We’re always as consumers finding ways around the ads. I used to do a lot of work with Office Superstars. They put circulars in your newspaper. What did you do? You dumped them because you knew that it was all bogus ads and promos to try to get you to walk in the store. When you walked into the store, they were trapping you for more money. That’s what it was going to be. We learned our ways around that. We got ways to DVR and skip the ads. We’re always searching for that. Why is the ad model there? Let’s not do that model at all. That’s what you’re looking at in monetization.
I realized that everyone’s tuning out the traditional stuff. For monetization, I created a service called the Influencer Interview where I help coaches, speakers, authors, who are many of the guests who come on my show to be able to tell their underlying story that they could not tell themselves and share that story across all their platforms. Once I did that, in fact, I even started giving away a free discover your underlying story session with some of my guests as well, which they were excited about it because people were having insane, amazing transformations with that. That began the process of they wanted to know more and some of them started working with me. That’s been an incredible journey to find something, a way to truly serve the people that come onto my show and find a way to serve.
Six months is a big backlog and a lot of people out there start to think that the guesting process, the process of prospecting through that, and that return on investment from your guests have a downgraded effect. There’s the energy of the interview to now this delay in publication. How are you dealing with that? How do you keep that energy going? Six months later, your guests share it.
There is something that I love to do that has helped with that a lot. What I do is I view all of my guests as these amazing influencers that I am going to stay in contact with. I constantly seek ways to serve them. I love that we’re talking about influence. It is an important thing that we need to understand about influence. One is if we’ve got a platform to share, that’s a way of sharing and gifting influence. Another way of gifting influence is connecting to influencers. One thing that I love to do, I know if somebody comes on my show and has a great time, then they’re going to want to go on other people’s shows that I know. This is where this gets fun.
I could geek out about this all day long is if you connect two influencers together. I’ve got one person that came on the show two months ago and somebody that came on the show six months ago, if I can connect them together with the possibility that they could trade or swap at being on each other’s show, do you know what happens to my level of influence? It goes up. How much more does that guest love me? Because I haven’t forgotten about that person. I’m connecting with amazing people. What happens is this amazing Law of Reciprocity starts to happen. If I connect incredible people together, do you know the first thing that they want to do? Connect me with incredible people.
That’s critically important in the process for you as well. I love that you brought up the Law of Reciprocity because that’s something that we too often forget. You spoke on a lot of stages that you may have had this experience of doing this. Especially with training your speakers, that when you either hot seat someone, hand them a gift from the stage, give them a book or something like that. That person is the most likely person in that entire audience to become your client, to buy your thing, that they were gifted something. You think, “They got a gift. They’re not going to buy.” They are the ones that will buy. That’s the Law of Reciprocity at work.
I’ve got the best story for you ever. I’m grateful you brought this up. This is fun. There was a moment where I was in on an interview and it’s Zoom because they’re far away. They’re in Australia. I was in this incredible interview. It was live. They had a group of people together in that conversation. First, they started out with a traditional interview of me, which I’ve done a million times. We’re good. They said to me, “Connie, you’re doing this new influencer interview thing where you’re helping people discover their hidden story.” Tracy, to give you some awareness about this, when I’m working with somebody, it takes three hours where we dive into their whole story. There is a process there.
The person interviewing me looks up at me and I’ll never forget what he said. He said, “Connie, you’re an expert at doing this. Why don’t you do this live over the next ten minutes or so.” I’m like, “Let me get this straight. You want me to take a three-hour process and do it in the next ten minutes? Absolutely, let’s do it.” We did that live and it was an incredible experience. They had these amazing breakthroughs and these quick, discover your hidden story session. At the end of that conversation, he asked, “Who else wants to go?” Everybody in the group raises their hand. He said, “Connect with Connie. She’ll do one of those sessions with you.” Later, he followed up with me and he said, “How did it go?” I said, “It’s been amazing. All week I’ve been doing these incredible sessions with people and the people that had me do it live with them. My experience with them when I got on a call with them, Tracy, was I already know I want to work with you. Tell me how.
For those of you reading here, I sent this to Connie before our interview here, I sent the Charisma Quotient, Kim Seltzer as one of the ones on the list of shows that I thought and guests and hosts that I thought Connie should reach out to and check out. The reason I put her on the list is exactly that reason because Kimmy does this third episode a week. She does three episodes a week. The third one is where she’s doing a live coaching session for about twenty minutes. What she says in the interview she did with me was that almost always that person becomes a client. They applied for the free because they thought they didn’t have the money for it. By the end of the coaching session, they’ve received value to the point at which they can’t wait to join and do more with her. That in and of itself is both mixing that Law of Reciprocity, but also mixing in and getting that intangible of what you do to being completely understood and seeing the direct value and applying that to myself as both the listener and the person in the hot seat.
I’m going to check that out.
I’m sure you will because Connie is a researcher. She’s got systems. She wants more information and more input. Speaking of more information and more advice out there, if someone’s looking at starting a podcast and they’re thinking about what they can do, how they can go about it, where do you recommend that they start?
With you. You did not pay me to say that, but I say that because when I met you, you made the systems of podcasting make sense. My first thought is, “Why didn’t I meet you a couple of years ago?”
We’ve been having a lot of fun in the meantime, but we’re going to have fun from here for it. Thank you for saying that. I appreciate that. You’re a systems person and the systems are daunting. A guide would be the most helpful way through that for you. Besides that part, where else do you think they should start?
Just start. I think back to that first moment, I told this story on Facebook Live and I was thinking back to that first moment that I had my first episode. Tracy, my episode was with this incredible doctor. It was Dr. Kathy Gruver. I still remember. I love Kathy. I love my guests. I neurotically love them. I had Kathy on the show. When I invited her, it was like close my eyes and hit send. I was scared she’d say no. I thought she’s this amazing lady. She was interviewed by Dr. Phil. This is the person she is. I asked Kathy to be on my show. She said yes. I’m sitting there. I remember not having it perfect. I was freaking out about the technology. I had no idea if she could get in okay, if it would record properly. I had this green screen in the background and I didn’t know how to use the virtual background. It was super lime green in the background.
You can always have somebody go in and fix that. It costs a little bit, but not too much. Go on Fiverr, get them to fix your background for you so you can save that episode if that has happened to anyone and believe me, it has happened. It’s happened to the best of us.
That’s good to know. I’m going to do that. You could see this first interview where I’m probably nervous. I looked jittery. I do the interview with her. She tells her story. Here’s the thing. Once I forget myself, forget yourself, think about the person that’s going to listen. Think about the person in front of you, forget yourself. If you can be in that moment, you can do something great. I remember Kathy having this amazing conversation. Fast forward that a few years, I did a Facebook Live. I told the story of that. Now, Kathy is one of my friends. She watched that Facebook Live and she said, “Connie, I had no idea I was your first guest.”
You’re a pro at it. She didn’t have any problem with it. You didn’t hear this part, Connie, because the way that I record here, all of you reading, I’m going to reveal a little curtain lift here. Connie doesn’t hear the intro I do of her. She didn’t hear the story I told about how I met her. Here’s the interesting part. I want to mention that. There is this fate we should’ve met before. The first moment I looked at her website and looked at the cover art of her podcast, I said, “That’s the hotel that I hung out at a ton when I was working with this group that I met you at, which is CEO Space.” We should have met there because her background is it. I recognized it instantly. We should have met before, but we finally did through a network like CEO Space. How do you use those networks, these great places where you meet people? How do you use them to help mind that as well? It’s not just your guests referring, but it’s also your bigger network looking out for you.
I love events like that. That’s where I met you and I’m grateful for that conversation. There are a few ways that I do that. In the podcasting space, one of the things to recognize when you go into a community like that and you’re in a networking event type of thing and you see the person, I always look for two people. I look for the person that’s leading the event because they’re the person that has the most influence in the room. I look for the people that are speaking at the event because they are also having the most influence in the room. I don’t do that out of a weird what can I get type of attitude. If I want to make the biggest impact that I can in this world and my mission is to support purpose-driven entrepreneurs to be able to fulfill their life’s purpose. If I want to create that mission in this world, I have to connect with people who are changing the world already.
I consciously go into those environments seeking opportunities to serve. When you’ve got a podcast, sometimes we can undervalue that and think, “It’s my podcast.” It is a way of gifting influence. You have to understand what you have. It’s something that you can give to somebody as a way to support them in their mission. You better believe it. When I met Tracy at that event, the first thing I’m going to say, “I would love to have you as a guest on my podcast.”A podcast swap is a great way to build your network together. Click To Tweet
I beat you to it. I understand that intimately. I’m always on the lookout for those people that I think will make interesting stories who have interesting shows. The first thing that I do is I chat with them in the chat that’s going on. We haven’t even met yet. I’ve already checked out her show and invited her because she was smart enough to say her show. If you’ve ever heard me on any event and some of my clients will be speakers or other people within the event, I’m like, “You forgot to say the name of your show.” That’s where you’re offering that gift of listening and that gift of guesting. You were offering that right away into your community. That in and of itself is powerful, Connie.
Thank you for that.
I’m glad you came to the show. I’m looking forward to being on the other end with you and enjoying that as well. Check out the post discussion that I always have. See if I’ve given you a little update, an insight into how it was on Connie’s show. My Fire Within Radio, got to check it out. Connie Benjamin, thank you for coming in.
Tracy, this has been fun. Thank you for having me.
Connie Benjamin, My Fire Within Radio, I told you it was going to be an interesting interview and told you she was going to be a lot of fun. You were going to be able to see parts of yourself in her. This is what I think I hear again and again, from many of you out there as you reach out to me, as we touched base in the beginning. Some of you are focused on making sure that you’re going to spend your time on something that has a direct return on investment of time. Your approach from the beginning of podcasting is on achieving a specific return on investment. Often either you become disillusioned quickly. This is where we have the pod faders who quit at 10 or 11 episodes, 11 and 23 episodes. Remember those are the hotspots of quitting.
Until the pod fading happens because it didn’t have that immediate gain and return on investment that you expected or it was a whole lot harder than you expected, the systems. That’s what Connie was pointing out. Sometimes as systems, even as a systems girl, a self-admitted systems girl that she is, it still trips you up and it makes things more difficult and makes it harder to go through. She persevered through this. She has gotten two years’ worth of podcast episodes. She’s gotten a lot of interviews on her belt. She’s booking out six months. She’s got a lot of content going on. What if we started our journey with a slightly different viewpoint? What if we started our journey by saying we know and we hear that there is a return on investment for our time podcasting. We don’t necessarily know what’s going to be the right one for me and my business and my life and how I want to work, the kinds of clients I want to attract or the business I want to do.
It may not be that same path that it is for Connie Benjamin or it is for Tracy Hazzard or it is for Pat Flynn or any one of the other people that I’ve interviewed on this show. It’s always a different monetization model for each one and/or the return on investment for their time is different. When I interviewed Schiv Gaglani who has Osmosis, his Osmosis business was doing well with it. He personally listed as one of his return on investments is the time that he spent interviewing people and learning something about his industry, about his world. It helped him to be better CEO, better able to guide his company and help it grow when he knew what was going on in the marketplace and knew what was going on through those interviews.
That self-information was a guide to his business and that was invaluable. He couldn’t define a dollar amount to it. That’s what I find as well. When we’re looking through this process is what if we took return on investment off the table and said, “We know there’s going to be some, but until we get through enough episodes, until we get through the process long enough to start to see what that is, we won’t be able to say, ‘That is the one that’s worth it to me.’” If we’re concentrating on this person achieved a return on investment from advertising or achieved a sponsor in 25 episodes. That’s what I want. We may be leaving out the opportunity for all the alternative return on investments we’re looking for and doing. That’s where I think Connie is starting to shift that model in our head is what does the business model looks like is a little bit more difficult as we’re starting to formulate because we get caught in the what and the how-tos.
If we’re getting it out of our mind that has to have a specific return on investment. Instead, we’re saying, “I’ve got this audience, I’ve got this listenership. What do they want the most? How can I serve them the best in the process?” Let me develop a product, a service, a system that will serve that community so that they can’t help but want to buy it. That’s exactly what they’ve been asking for. They didn’t know how to say that that’s what they wanted. When we get locked into the mechanics of things and we get caught into this, I’m learning everything. I’m trying to build a system. I’m trying too hard. Sometimes we’re overlooking the easy things that we could be putting in that would logically lead to people doing more business with us, that we also don’t then look at the things that we find the most valuable so we can do more of those.
Let’s do more of the things that are valuable. For Connie, that place is a happy place for interviewing. I love the way she terms that she’s gifting her influence to others in her happy place of interviewing. You’re marrying up the two most important things that you could possibly do in any business and a marketing model. Anything that you’re doing, you’re doing something that you enjoy, that you like and is your gift to the world. You’re serving someone in that process of doing that, do more of that. Now let’s figure out what the service, the systems, the processes around that are going to be, that is going to make you able to keep doing that. You found that sweet spot. You found that beauty in it. Now put your ear to the ground, start listening to what people want.
That’s where Connie Benjamin is in her My Fire Within Radio journey, she’s going to start tapping into that monetization model and make it work. I can’t wait to follow her. I can’t wait to see what she does in the next six months and the next year to pulling that out into something that is a working model of business that she’s excited about every single day and our clients flow from it in such an organic way. You can do that too. Check out My Fire Within Radio, check out all the information on Connie Benjamin and what she’s done. Don’t forget to check out her Women With Fire book as well. It is an international bestseller.
You may want to check all of that out to see a model by which how you might be able to do better interviews, model a better podcast, and come up with the place in which you’re able to bring your gifts to the world, whether it’s gifting influence or sales messages or tactics for real estate investing. Whatever it is that your gift to the world is, find that model that you can bring it out as Connie Benjamin has on My Fire Within Radio. Thanks for reading. I look forward to interviewing even more fabulous podcasters and bringing you new models and new ideas for how you can grow your show, grow your influence and authority through podcasting.
Remember I told you I was going to be on Connie’s show, My Fire Within. I was thinking of all of you and making sure that I came and updated you on what it was like to be interviewed on her show. I thought that would give you a little bit of insight into what it’s like on the other side for each of your shows. Connie, first off, has a long form to fill out because she wants to deep dive and do some research and understand and get into the person that she’s going to be talking with. While that’s good, sometimes that can hold you back from getting good guests who are too busy. Be prepared to have the short form for some special guests you want to do and then maybe the longer form for the ones that are more of that prospect lead person we were talking about in the episode.
Someone you’re driving through your podcast pipeline, but the people you’re driving through that, make them do a little bit more work because then they’re going to be more active and more valuable potential clients in the future. That works out well too, but have a short one for the people who are busy, you would like to have their authority. That’s one of the things that I saw with Connie. The other thing though about it is that she broke us up into two interviews. We did an hour-long session, but we broke it up into two interviews, one where we talked about business and one where we talked about our personal.
She got a two-parter out of it. That’s a cool idea for some of you out there. It might not work for everyone, but if you’ve got something where you can leave a cliffhanger or leave something where they’re going to come to another episode and consume the next one, you’re pushing them through the bingeability. Connie is creating our own binge factor within it as well. I love that model. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It might be the right fit for you. It’s going to work for Connie. That’s my gut instinct is it’s going to work for her well because it gives people the opportunity to have both, the story and the lesson at the same time or within a couple of episodes.
We’ll get them to sit down and consume both where they might when it’s mixed in together, get lost in the shuffle of things. It’s an interesting way, but Connie is a great interviewer. She’s got a great style of thinking about what she wants to ask next. You could see it on her face when you’re watching her. Your listeners aren’t hearing that and your viewers aren’t seeing that because they’re saying, “Who’s ever talking at that moment?” but you can see she’s thinking hard about what’s going to be valuable to my listener next? What should be that next question that I ask? That’s the sign of a great interviewer. Check out My Fire Within, Connie Benjamin, and stay tuned next time for another episode of the show.
- Dame Doria Cordova – My Fire Within Radio previous episode
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- Charisma Quotient
- Kim Seltzer – The Binge Factor previous episode
- Dr. Kathy Gruver – My Fire Within Radio previous episode
- Pat Flynn – The Binge Factor previous episode
- Schiv Gaglani – The Binge Factor previous episode
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