Being a podcast host is a long, winding game that can get a bit challenging and uncomfortable for many. But by embracing the risks and being comfortable with the difficulties ahead, anyone can make it big in this ever-growing industry. Unraveling the secrets of podcasting career success with Tracy Hazzard is her social media advisor and the co-host of This Might Get Uncomfortable, Whitney Lauritsen. Together, they discuss the best application to use to achieve high-quality audio, the proper way to monetize your show, and how to get the most interesting guests for an even more interesting discussion. Whitney also shares the most effective ways to transform the overwhelming feeling of social media and leverage the power of bite-sized content to benefit your podcast, which is currently showcased in TikTok and Clubhouse.
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Gaining Confidence And Getting Comfortable With Being A Podcast Host With Podetize Social Media Strategist & Host Whitney Lauritsen Of This Might Get Uncomfortable Podcast
We’re in the midst of International Women’s Month, and it would be remiss of me to not point out all the amazing women that I am surrounded by. I have a COO who happens to be my daughter and also an amazing woman putting many podcasters out into the world, Alexandra. I appreciate her. I realized that my Co-founder, Tom, is completely outnumbered in our leadership team. I’m not sure how this happened, but we don’t have any other guys in our leadership team. We’re all women at the top of our company here at Podetize. I’m super proud of that.
I bring one of them forward because she’s a podcaster too. She gets to meet someone who’s working with our company but who’s dealing with all the things you’re dealing with as a podcaster. I’ve got Whitney Lauritsen. She’s our social media strategist here and for other companies as well. She’s amazing. Her show is called This Might Get Uncomfortable. She has a tremendous amount of background and experience in social media. She’s a podcast host, a social media advisor, a wellbeing coach, and a creator who shares lifestyle practices and product recommendations that improve the quality of body, mind, and planet.
She explores mental health, mindful living, and sustainability on This Might Get Uncomfortable and advises creative entrepreneurs with digital marketing that amplifies their passion. Whitney is a strong part of us being pushed and prodded into all kinds of social media tests that I wasn’t sure we were ready for yet, but we’re out there in Clubhouse. We’re working on TikTok, we’ve got our Pinterest going. We’ve got all of these things singing because Whitney has helped us with the strategies and put in place the test to make these things work for us.
Whitney Lauritsen is a podcast host, social media advisor, and well-being coach and creator who shares lifestyle practices and product recommendations that improve the quality of body, mind, and planet.
She explores mental health, mindful living, and sustainability on This Might Get Uncomfortable and WhitneyLauritsen.com, and advises creative entrepreneurs with digital marketing that amplifies their passions.
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We’re out there at the forefront, trying out things and seeing what works for podcasters and what can work for you. Whitney’s a part of that. I wanted to bring you in because her struggles and successes with her podcast tell you a lot about all the things that she’s working on and how you might be able to achieve success with your show. Whitney, this is long overdue. We should’ve done this before now. I don’t know why we didn’t think of this. It took International Women’s Month for us to get together for an interview. We should have done this sooner.
I feel like it’s because we talk frequently. It escapes your mind when you’re used to being in touch with someone frequently.
Usually, I meet a podcaster for the first time that we’ve known each other for quite a while. This Might Get Uncomfortable is doing pretty well. I was at the stats and checking out some of your newer episodes. I love that you and Jason have added more of the two of you. I feel like there’s more of it now than there used to be. When did you make that shift?
We’ve been doing from the beginning, two episodes a week of just the two of us. I can’t remember when we launched if we had a guest episode in the first week, but I feel like we did.
You added then in it at some point.
I remember speaking with you because you were such a huge part of the development and overall direction of the show, which I’m incredibly grateful for because I’m feeling confused and stalled with what to do in terms of the format. I heard many different things. There are many different opinions on podcasting. To have guidance from someone like you was immensely helpful. I remember talking these things over with you at the very beginning because I don’t know if we had fully intended on having guests on our show. That certain that was your idea or suggestion to us to do it.
Originally, you didn’t. Now you’ve got this nice mix going on. Guesting is not for everybody. I think that you thought that that was going to be the case for you. I realized that this is a strategy, that you needed some guesting to bring more listeners. You needed a little broadness to it and a vehicle to do it in. In the early days, maybe you interview a few vendors you mentioned because you have lots of people whose products and stuff you talk about on your show. You already had that going both on your YouTube and Instagram.
You already had that from somewhere else. You have the right people to tap into. That made a difference, but it’s not the right thing for everybody. That’s where I think you’re right about the podcasting advice that’s out there is that my hope from the show here and why I have you on is that you’re going to bring your perspective, which is different than the last person I had on and two people before that because it is different. There might be some advice that is right for a podcaster who wants to emulate the model that you’re doing. Tell me what you feel has gone right with your show.
I feel grateful that my co-host and I have been consistent. I honestly feel like that is the number one thing that we have done right, and that has gone right is that we have stuck to it. We are crossing our 200th episode. We launched the show on December 13th, 2019, and to go to 200 episodes is a big deal when I look at other shows. You were a huge part of the consistency because I remember learning from you when I first met you how often and frequent podcasters fade because they don’t set themselves up for consistency with recording their episodes, editing their episodes, and releasing them. Having that schedule has made a world of difference. I remember at times thinking, “I don’t think we’re going to podfade before 100 episodes, but I wondered what was going to happen between 100 and 200.
I was worried about you too. I don’t mean that in a negative way. The problem is that you’re such a deep, dedicated researcher that I was concerned that the time commitment, the overwhelm from that would get in the way of your ability to be consistent, and you would be unwilling, which I applaud in your personality, to put out something that you wouldn’t be able to phone in it. That was where I was concerned that you were biting off a lot by doing couple of episodes a week, and having a co-host is hard enough because you’ve got scheduling issues. I was concerned that might be the case for you. This is why I’m proud that you made it well passed that and into 200 because I knew it would be a great show.
It is hard. It’s not for everyone. When I tell people that Jason and I have released three episodes a week for 200 episodes, most people are shocked. I know shows that have been out for years very consistently. They go through seasons, which is very different. We don’t do it seasonally. We drop three episodes a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Friends of mine who have shows do fifteen episodes a season then they take a break like a television show. They have far less episodes, but they’ve been doing their podcast for a lot longer. That’s a big difference. Some shows are once a week, and some shows drop whatever they feel like it. There’s no consistency.
It’s been interesting how we fell into that rhythm and have stayed committed to it. The other thing that’s going right for me is having a co-host that I can rely on. He’s proven to me that he’s committed to it, but there have been times for sure where I wondered if he was as committed as I was. We’ve had conversations. In the back of my head, I wondered, “What if he decided he didn’t want to do it anymore? Would I continue doing it on my own? What would that be like?” I’ve seen friends of mine in the podcast world go through that. It’s fascinating to watch what happens when a co-host drops out.
It’s one of the smart things that you did at the beginning is by setting a tone for the brand of the show, This Might Get Uncomfortable, and not being the Whitney and Jason show. You gave yourself the room and ability to do that in the future.
Another side of it was that your advice to not put our photos on the cover art is huge because as you’re sharing that, I’m thinking of two shows. One, a friend of mine, very close, she launched with a co-host. They’re in the cover art and are still in the cover art, even though the co-host isn’t there, then an acquaintance of mine who’s run his show for many years. He and his wife were doing their show together, and their marriage didn’t split, but their podcast split. They each have their own shows. He carried on with the original show, and you had to change his cover art to be him. It’s interesting because it takes a while for people to get used to that big switch because the cover art reinforces that. Not having the branding tied to the two of us is right.
It’s an interesting dynamic to have co-hosts. It’s because this is International Women’s Month, women have trouble finding their voices amongst a community, sometimes at the table. How did you find that balance between getting both your voices heard?
We were fortunate in that we were close friends for many years before we started the show. We already had a natural rhythm. I think that’s common for a lot of friends that start podcasting is they’ll start a show, and it’s like you are listening to their conversation. The other thing that worked to my advantage with Jason, my co-host, is that we both had a lot of speaking and on-camera experience, which not everybody has when they start a podcast. We had already developed our voices together and separately. That made it easier for us. However, our voices have certainly shifted over time. I remember in the beginning stages of our podcasts, getting feedback that we were talking over each other, interrupting each other too much. One big change we’ve made is to be more focused on what the other person’s saying and to take turns more versus overlapping. It doesn’t have to be quite as conversational.There's no one right answer for everybody. What works for one podcast won't necessarily work for another. Click To Tweet
You have an interesting beginning. That’s what I want to point out, and it’s different in the early episodes. I picked up on some of your more episodes that I hadn’t listened to yet to see how the shift had happened. What I noticed is that there’s a much longer beginning, even though you might be talking about something you’re passionate about. You’ve referenced Jason. You’re even almost talking to him and saying, “I want to get your take on this, but first, I want you to understand why I’m bringing this forward.” He doesn’t say a word. That’s nice and different from a lot of other shows. There’s a lot of co-hosts out there who would be wanting to go, “Yeah.” At least say something to get their words in, and you guys aren’t doing that. It’s an interesting dynamic. You’re like, “Now.” When is Jason going to say something? I can’t wait for Jason to say something. That’s a good thing. It makes us listen through that beginning part. It’s a great pull-through.
That’s interesting feedback because I’ve been wondering about that. Another reason that we did that in behind the scenes is we use the program, Zencastr, which we love. It has been phenomenal. The Zencastr featured us on their website, which is neat, mainly because it’s something we might get to as we started video casting. They featured us as video casters. Meaning, we’re recording video, audio, and we have a YouTube channel. We publish on multiple platforms. In Zencastr, we noticed through the one downside. The only downside we can think of is Zencastr is when you talk over each other, it distorts the audio a little. Jason and I are committed to high-quality audio. That’s another thing that sets us apart.
I wish more podcasters would do this, but it seems like why is it that a lot of shows don’t sound great? Is that the microphone, the software, or people don’t know how to speak, or they haven’t developed their voices? For us, we wanted good microphones which you helped us with. We wanted to find software that sounded high quality. Through using Zencastr, we found, if we talked over each other, it would distort the audio experience. You couldn’t hear us clearly.
In your episodes, I was getting feedback from our audio team, and they were saying to us, there’s a problem with their audio. You guys were pushing back saying, “This isn’t clean. There’s something not right about the audio. I was listening to the raw and the show, and going, “Why is this happening? What is going on?” I know you’re recording in Zencastr, I’ve never asked that question what you were recording in. Now I know we should have, because that’s exactly that distortion that was happening, that we were trying to figure out ways to clean up for you on what’s happening from that particular thing. We had both of your tracks. To have that distortion happening is a very unusual thing. What happened was that sometimes, when we overlap in our speech, it’s okay because we have separate tracks going on with how you’re recording it. I’m recording here on Zoom, and you won’t have that.
My team will get completely down out the other, but if you have a warble, which is what this sounded like a little bit of warbling. It usually happens at the end of the sentence, at the end of the last thing that Whitney says, as Jason starting to speak because you’re overlapping in your speech. We had no choice but to truncate the ends of your words in order to remove the warble. That wasn’t good sound either. That made it sound like these staccato cuts that were going on. We have identified then what the cause of that was.
We haven’t always used Zencastr. That was mostly a COVID thing because Jason and I used to record in person, which was nice for a lot of reasons. We were using GarageBand at that time. The downside with that is that we would be in the same room across from each other. We didn’t have the super fancy setup. Sometimes you might hear an echo.
You get crossed-mic issues.
Zencastr has made that easier. Another thing that’s changed is they released their video features.
They’ve been coming for so long. I’m so glad they’re finally out.
I love Zencastr so much, but there’s one other downside, which is that we’ve noticed there’s a delay. However, there’s a benefit to that delay that we now have to pause, and there’ll be a couple of seconds before the next person speaks. Even if we wanted to overlap, we technically never can because of the delay, which cleans up the audio. It has more breaks in between. This has been helpful for me editing the videos because while your team edits the audio for us, I edit the video to put on YouTube, and I bring it into Final Cut Pro. There are always a few second gaps between each of us talking. I can go in and find the gap and cut it. It’s been working well.
That’s a great find and understanding of how you can use your recording to force better quality for the editing and output in the long run. You jumped into one of the five things that we talk about. That’s producing like a pro right there. You’ve got that all down. Let’s talk about some of the other ones that we have. Getting great guests. You decided to take a few guests. How did you go about vetting them and finding great ones?
I’m excited to talk about this because my passion for guests has increased the longer I’d been a podcaster. In the beginning, it was all our friends or close acquaintances, contacts because Jason and I have worked in the wellness field for a long time. Our very first two guests, we recorded in person with them. They’d been friends for many years. We were interested in them. We went through our roster. We made a spreadsheet and listed all the people that we thought were interesting, all the things that we wanted to talk about, and who might be a good fit for that. We reached out to them. That works well for a while, but recording in person came with more scheduling obstacles and time. It was a lot. While it was nice to have that intimacy in person, it’s been so nice to do it all virtual thing. Thanks to COVID.
That allows us to reach other people that we weren’t necessarily getting before because we are also bound by the location. Fortunately, Jason and I live in Los Angeles. We know a lot of people in town. We started with all the local people. When we traveled, we would reach out to people in different areas. That worked well. We hit a point where we weren’t able to book guests, and we were starting to panic because one of the things with working with the editing team is we have to submit our episodes in advance. We usually try to submit our guest episodes two weeks in advance to the editing team to give them plenty of time. There’s a little bit more involved with a guest. There was this time where we’re like, “We can’t secure anybody. We’re two weeks out. What do we do?”
I ended up joining a podcast membership group and started networking with people I didn’t know. That was a game-changer because it forced me to think about people outside of my network. We’re at a point where, because that has been developing for months that we’ve been outside of our network. Now I’m constantly identifying people that could be good podcasters. I’ve developed more courage to ask them to be guests on my show. I outreach to people all the time. I think, “That person is interesting. I’m going to invite them to my show.” Now we are booked up. We have a guest scheduled through the end of June 2021. We have to turn people away. We also have a guest submission form similar like you do. We now have more guests than we’ve even been able to vet yet if the opposite problem has happened, which I suppose is a good thing.
Increasing listeners. We talked about this. It’s like you are used to YouTube, Instagram, and getting followers. There’s a whole system for it. Podcasting’s not quite like that. How did you find the talent is of increasing listeners, and what have you found that works?
Now that I’m a podcaster, I’m very passionate about social media for podcasters, as you know, and I love studying tactics. “How do I increase listenership?” is probably the main question that everybody asks. It’s not that simple. First of all, there’s no one right answer for everybody. What works for one podcast or won’t necessarily work for another. There are many factors. You can purchase ads. We have not done that yet. We’ve had ads from other people on our show, but we have not run our own ads elsewhere unless maybe someone plugged us for free. We did giveaways. We’ve done a few of those. I can’t say they were super effective. I thought that was going to work better because it worked for a friend. It didn’t work quite as well for us either.Always be willing to experiment. Just because one strategy worked for somebody else doesn’t mean you have to follow it. Click To Tweet
We’ve been constantly experimenting with social media. I also don’t feel like we’ve found our sweet spot with that. I do believe that the two things that are contributing to our listenership is SEO. Anything search-related, which your team has been extraordinary with because our titles and descriptions are optimized. We have shownotes. We are getting SEO from many different angles and having great guests. If they share the episode, that’s fantastic. Our top episodes were because somebody came on our show and shared it, but sometimes having the guests for SEO purposes is great because, as you talk about often when somebody searches for that guest, you might show up. In fact, you were talking about this on Clubhouse. I loved this point that you made that sometimes, when you have optimized your show, you will show up in the search before the podcaster’s actual show. Is that true?
It happens all the time to me in particular, but it happens to other people. If you’re good at optimizing your shows, episodes, and things because you have podcast host credibility and then guesting credibility, you’ll show up before the host show, to begin with, especially if they didn’t do a good job of titling. That’s where it falls apart.
This brings me back to how different it is to take advice from someone like you that has worked with hundreds of podcasters versus the anecdotal evidence I’ve heard from other podcasters. That’s a huge lesson I learned because before I met you, I was asking around.
That’s how you met us.
It did benefit me in some ways. I remember hearing many different strategies, but they worked for that person. I would try that strategy and find out it didn’t work for me. Seen, tried, and true strategies that have worked for a number of podcasters is incredibly important, and being willing to experiment without being attached to it, working for you because it worked for somebody else.
The next one that I want to go to of our five things is about encouraging engagement. There is no one better than someone who’s had great success on social media. It’s such a success that I hired her as our social media strategist here. Such success encouraging engagement within your Instagram within things. What we’ve discovered is some of the stuff doesn’t work for us. It doesn’t work for Podetize. What works for Whitney? What works for This Might Get Uncomfortable or The Binge Factor. It’s not the same. How have you been able to, for This Might Get Uncomfortable grow engagement?
I’ve been consulting on social media since 2009. In the beginning stages, I did believe that if it worked for me, it would work for everybody else. I take everything with a grain of salt that works for me. The big advantage that my Jason Wrobel, my co-host, and I have is that we have been building up our social media for many years each. We started with an engaged audience. However, we are hearing from new people we’ve never heard from before. We do find that some of the engagement is coming more organically. It wasn’t already there, or there are people that we hear from that we’ve never heard from before, but maybe have been part of our audience and never commented or emailed or left messages.
It’s not every day but it’s frequent. The more that we’ve done our show, and the more that we speak out about it and encourage our listeners on our show, the more we start to hear from them. Every episode of ours saying, “We want to hear from you. Genuinely, please contact us through 1 of 3 ways.” For us, it’s either a direct message on Instagram, which is, by far, the top way that people reach us right now. Number two is to send us an email, which is our secondary way that we hear from people. Number three is to leave a comment on our show notes, which is very rare. We don’t get a lot of those. I think because people are typically listening on their phone, and they’re used to pulling up Instagram, or they’re used to find an email address.
We’ve also discovered that making it easy and clear for them. Another thing we learned from you, Tracy, that was helpful as we spell out our website domain and our social media handles because they’re different than the name of our show. Our domain and social media usernames are our brand name, which is called Wellevatr. Nobody knows how to spell it until we tell them. We spell it out every single time, at least once per episode. One, usually towards the middle area of the show and once at the end over and over again. Now we’re in that habit. Hopefully, that helps people spell it out, but they also know that they can do a web search for our show, find us, and thanks to having good descriptions and show notes. It’s very easy to find us. You type in This Might Get Uncomfortable you instantly find our website. On our website, we make it easy for them to get in touch so they can engage. I think the big takeaway is to make it easy.
The other thing that I want to mention here is something that you do well. I’m going to tap in before we do the final thing here of our final five things and do our binge factor with you because it’s an interesting model to look at the way that you do your show and the way that we consider you are a binge factor. What do you think your binge factor is?
The fact that we are authentic and we don’t plan. To your point, which I wanted to address is we rarely plan. We plan who our guest is. We ask our guests what they’re interested in talking about. We learn about their bio, but we never plan questions for our guests. In fact, sometimes we stumble at the beginning of the episodes because we’re like, “There are many places we want to start.” We also don’t plan our solo episodes. We have a generalized topic. Sometimes that topic is a word, or a very vague idea, and we let it flow. It’s conversational. My guess is that our binge factor is that we are open, honest, real, and we’re not afraid to make mistakes or get uncomfortable, that’s the name of our show.
Your binge factor, in a way, but I’m going to shift the phrasing though for you. You’re not authentic because nowadays, authenticity is contrived. What I get from This Might Get Uncomfortable, Whitney and Jason is a rawness. There’s, “I want to discuss this topic. I want to discuss this article. I want to discuss this. I have some passionate viewpoints about it.” That’s the setup of each show that you do, and then it goes into a raw discussion with the mindset that no one has to be right about this, that this is a discussion, a debate, an opening of your mind. That rawness is beautiful because we don’t get that enough. That’s where I believe your binge factor is hitting into people who can’t miss an episode.
They’re going to come back because they want to know about the next article you read. The other thing, you say you don’t plan, but you do research. It’s not like you’re going to get a title of an article. You read that article, synthesized it, thought about it before you guys decided to talk about it. There’s an innate. It doesn’t feel like work to you because you and Jason are friends. You’ve been doing this a long time. You have a great working relationship. All you need is a cliff notes version between the two of you, and you’re on. It doesn’t feel like it’s as much planning, but it is. There’s a deepness to the depth of research that you’ve done over time and the stories that you tell them, the things that you’ll pull into it.
There also is a beautiful organicness to how you mentioned products and things that you do. I was having to be listening to an episode, and you mentioned about you’re going offline. All I kept doing was like, “Am I getting anxiety listening to the idea of digitally unplugging? Could I do this?” For me, it’s probably not as big a problem as I’d have to listen to my children complain that I’m not willing to do that. You mentioned not turning off your watch because you have the Hidrate Bottle that you love, which is funny because I was like, “I knew I gave that to you because I knew you would love it.” You don’t casually mention it and say, “If you want to link to it, it’s on my website.” That organicness of how you mentioned things has come from deep experience doing it over time. It doesn’t feel contrived. It’s like you truly would recommend these products to anyone you’re talking to.
I bring up that bottle all the time. I should be paying you because they were sending all the referral credits to you because I’m obsessed with that bottle. I could do a whole episode on the Hidrate Bottle. It was such a brilliant gift because I think about you and I’m grateful for that. How much one little thing like that can change your life. To your point, that’s been an evolution as we’ve started to have some more sponsors. We’ve had three official sponsors in terms of like ad space. We’ve also had a ton of affiliates. I use an affiliate link to Amazon for the Hidrate for example, because why not?
You were segue-ing perfectly into how you monetize your show. That’s where I thought you would be successful from the beginning because you already had an understanding of how affiliation works. I don’t think a lot of people understand how small dollar amount it can be and how much work it can be.It takes some time to find the sweet spot on content creation, so always be ready to experiment for that right format. Click To Tweet
Jason’s a little bit more concerned with monetizing that than I am, but I think I love podcasting so much. I see many other benefits beyond the money. It has helped me become a better speaker, and then I can book speaking gigs. Anytime I want to apply for a speaking gig. I have two episodes as I hear it. Go ahead and listen to me speak. That’s huge. It naturally pivoted me into a platform like Clubhouse where I’ve developed some authority and a following there. People are curious how do I feel so confident on Clubhouse. It’s because of the podcast. I noticed in my YouTube videos that my confidence as a YouTuber grew through speaking regularly. There are a lot of indirect forms of monetization of the podcast.
It’s not my top priority to directly monetize it. However, as I mentioned, Jason and I have had some sponsors. We’re very mindful about how often we work with sponsors, which sponsors they are. We’ve worked on our contracts and our media kits. We’re very intentional about it because we don’t want people to feel like we’re always pitching something like some shows do. For me, there are certain shows I listened to where I’ll skip over the ads because I’m like, “Here we go again.” If it’s integrated in as you’re mentioning, that works a lot better. That’s something that we use, whether we’re sponsored or not, and that’s gotten our audience used to it. The fact that we’re mentioning affiliates, and if we have a special discount code or something that ties in, we can organically integrate that in. That’s a practice though.
The fact that we don’t feel pressured to monetize and we’re constantly practicing it in subtle ways throughout every single episode has made it easier. One thing we’re experimenting with is how to make our ads entertaining. This is something that I learned from another podcaster named Adam. He has a great show called Podcasting Business School. He has a great strategy where he has fun with his ads, so much so, that his audience looks forward to his ads. We’re trying that because I’m fortunate to have a very funny co-host. I gave Jason the task to do something silly, something entertaining, to sing, to make a joke, to be outrageous. We’re going to try it out and see how it works.
That’s great that you guys are trying to take that on and do that in an interesting way. One of my favorite parts of the movie, Private Parts, with Howard Stern is he does this ad spot that is supposed to be for some toy store that just opened. He talks about being there for a kid. He’s trying to make it interesting. He realizes as he’s reading the copy that it had its grand opening. That can’t be true. Instead, he doubles out and goes, “You caught me.” Bringing that, “I was trying to make this fun, and it didn’t work.” That honesty and the whole process are going to work for you too.
When you’re funny and like that, that didn’t work out. That’s going to be you. You’re going to see that. That’s going to work for you guys. Too many podcasters, especially many that we have that come out of TikTok, YouTube or from the Instagram world and transfer that, and think that they’re going to come into podcasting and expect it to work the exact same way with affiliation by now, like all these different things that you have. It’s a slower burn. That’s difficult for them to grasp it. When you can come in with a better patience level, and an idea of being more discerning about that process, and cultivating that like you and Jason have, that’s a better recipe for success.
We’ve experimented with being our own sponsors too. When we have a course launch or a course promotion, we’ve experimented with different ways that we can run ads, and that’s been interesting because we can track and see the success of it. It’s tough. The conversion rate has not been super high for us, but we’re trying to be patient. We’re trying to figure out our audience and our rhythm with it all.
That part of it is that you have a long show. It’s because you have an hour-long show and because you do three a week, that’s a lot for people to catch up on. When you have something that is like, “We’re running a bootcamp, or a program that, especially something that’s live and not a self-generating, consume it on your own pace,” that makes it harder to have launch timing. You could do it out on social, but you can’t do it in podcasting because they haven’t caught up yet. Part of it is we have our ad mixes system, which you use. You can mix it on all the shows. Any show that they are on, they’re going to catch that, but it’s, “Are they ready get?” There’s a slower burn or warmup with the people that are listening to podcasts.
I would drop into that point. We’re grateful we have a newsletter. That’s another thing I would recommend is the newsletter helps us bring people in from all different parts of our website. We have free offers that they can sign up for. When they give us their email address or they’re on our mailing list, we’ve been building that for many years now. A longer than our podcast, we’ve been working on this newsletter list that converts. We find that if we get that newsletter list used to hearing about our podcasts, that brings listeners. If we encourage our podcasters to get some of the freebies we offer, they get on their list. That has been a little bit more effective than ads on our show thus far.
It wouldn’t be International Women’s Month if we didn’t talk about women’s voices. I was wondering if you had any podcasts, especially women podcasters, that you’d like to make a shout-out to and let us know who does Whitney listens to?
Number one is my friend, Allison Melody, who runs the Food Heals Podcast. She became a friend of mine while she was developing her show. It’s been such a beautiful thing to watch her journey as a podcaster. Oftentimes, I look back and wonder, “Why didn’t I start my show back then?” It was 2015 that she launched. I wasn’t interested at that time. It was fascinating looking back without regret and more being proud of what she has done and accomplished. Also, recognizing that things that worked for her in 2015 wouldn’t necessarily work in 2021. It’s interesting to watch her whole approach and how she’s worked with a guest. We learn from each other all the time. I’ve been on her show more than any other guests that she’s had too, which is a nice honor.
She came out with a book. It was very smart from a podcast standpoint. Her book is called Food Heals, like her show. She had people featured in her book that was on her podcast. For every feature, she listed out the episodes that her guests had been in. Mine was too long to include or the longest section out of any other guest, which is amusing. Going back to monetization, that was super smart that she wrote a book. She self-published it, put it on Amazon, became a best seller. That book is promoted her podcast, and her podcast is promoting the book as a monetization form. Allison is by far the first person I think of to shout out.
She is such a great adviser too. She has done a masterclass for us here at Podetize in her viewpoints on how she uses social media. I started our first show in 2015. It’s one of the reasons why we try to start new shows or do revamps or do other things every single year because it’s a whole lot harder in 2021 than it was in 2015 to get your show going and gain an audience. We have to remember that these things shift over time, and new tactics need to be in place. There is a certain amount of residual value to having started back then. You can’t go reinvent that if you’re starting today, but there’s no reason to not start one. Whitney, let’s talk about social media. You mentioned Clubhouse multiple times. We’ve been talking about TikTok amongst ourselves. What are some of the things that you find in working for podcasters out that you think, “This is some cool stuff,” and maybe people might want to evaluate it and see if it’s the right fit for them?
Clubhouse and TikTok are huge. It’s hard to tell as you and I have discussed what exactly is going to happen with Clubhouse. It’s coming up on a year, but it started to get its momentum at the end of 2020, beginning of 2021. Everyone’s on there trying to figure it out. However, because you’re using your voice on there, it translates because people want to hear more from you. Perhaps they get used to your voice. They’re curious. I haven’t been able to attribute specific views to it. It’s because they’re working on launching the links.
All you can do from Clubhouse is to go click on Instagram and or Twitter. What people are doing that I think is smart is on Twitter, they’re linking and pinning their podcast at the top. When you go to someone’s Twitter page, you see their podcast front and center, which I think is wise. That takes someone from Clubhouse to Twitter, to your podcast. You can do something similar with Instagram. A lot of people go to Instagram after Clubhouse. You could mention your podcast. Make sure it’s in your top link, in your bio. It has grown my Instagram in Clubhouse. When I think about this funnel, “Now that they’re part of my Instagram community, how can I mention my podcast in an authentic way that resonates with them?” I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of different things.
Every week when we have a guest on the show, we do a dedicated post for them, customize it, one of my favorite parts of the show or quote that will resonate. We also use audiograms. We don’t get a ton of click-overs as many shows have discovered. That’s why we started using YouTube because podcasters that I’ve been watching have been raving about YouTube. I didn’t think that YouTube would work super well with podcasters because not everybody gets that success. I’m experimenting for myself. We’re experimenting with Podetize in the show to see, “Can we capture people’s interest? Does a full-length episode work best? Do the clips or the short videos work best? “
TikTok is a huge part of this conversation, too, because what’s happened with TikTok is it shown us how to create high-quality content in short amounts of time. If you can make a video around 30 seconds, you can post that on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, every single platform, even Twitter. They all have that short-form video now. Creating one piece of content related to or from your podcast, if you’re recording a video, this might become one of them. We were talking about video casting. Record it while you’re doing the audio on Zoom or Zencastr or whatever tool you want to use. Take that and find a 32-second clip from there that’s high value, that piques people’s interest. Put that on one or all of those platforms, distribute it around, and start to experiment with which of those platforms is getting traction for you right now? The phrase right now is incredibly important because the platforms change.A big following does not always guarantee high viewership. Click To Tweet
Now, I heard of some changes. We all got emails about Facebook changing watch parties. Every day there’s something different.
It’s overwhelming. That’s the number one thing I hear, and that’s a huge pain point for podcasters. They are overwhelmed. They don’t want to do it all. They need help, but some podcasters don’t have budgets. It’s challenging. The number one thing I recommend is to take those 32-second video clips. If you’re overwhelmed, focus, create a video, put it up on YouTube. It doesn’t have to be perfectly edited and find that one 32-second clip. Take that clip and choose at least one of those social media platforms to put it on and experiment with. In March 2020, Instagram Reels, IGTV, and stories were all working well. They’re pushing that. TikTok is working well for a lot of people, but the other downside is it takes some time to find the sweet spot about what content and format works. You have to be open to experimenting. That’s where people get burned out.
They get burnt out on the experiment side. That’s where we utilize Whitney’s brilliance for our company. We use her to start to champion these tests out. Let’s see, “How difficult is this? How easily can we create the assets we need? How can we create a posting schedule? Is there a return on this?” We’re trying these experiments. We have a different focus every month. We are focus on, “We’re going to be in the creation process, and we’re going to be an execution process on another one.” We’re trying a couple of things at any given time, but that’s not the easiest thing to handle when you’re doing it all yourself.
You have to take it easy on yourself. The number one focus should be creating a great podcast because, as I said, a lot of our listenership comes from consistency, SEO and guests. It’s like if I had to rank them, I might say guests first, then SEO. It’s hard to say because it’s hard to measure these things. One thing I recommend has some tracking link. I’ve given tracking links to a few of my guests to see how much traffic they’re bringing in. sometimes they’re bringing in a ton of traffic, and sometimes guests with a huge following on social media don’t bring a lot of traffic. I’m going to reiterate the advice that you’ve given. A guest with a big following does not guarantee that’s going to get high viewership. A guest with an engaged audience who’s willing to share, those people will bring in, but they have to be willing to share consistently.
My top two episodes are from a friend of mine who happened to do well on TikTok after he came on my show. He came on my show before he hit a big. We had this genuine connection. He hit a big on TikTok. He shared the link to our podcast in his LinkedIn bio list. He drove so much traffic to my podcast every day for months because he was willing to do that. I’ve had big podcasters on my show who have never shared it or who have done light shares, one tweet, or reshared the Instagram story. It did nothing for us. We might get some SEO traffic because if somebody searches for them, they’ll find our show, but they’re sharing it didn’t help us that much. Don’t be deceived by the numbers when it comes to bringing on guests.
SEO, guests, and what was the third one that you were saying? The three things that you attributed.
SEO, having guests and experimenting on social media.
The flip of whether or not guests go above SEO, as you’re mentioning, if your goal is to sell more courses more things and in your case, get more people on your newsletter because you know that converts, then your SEO should be more important, and that you should put the emphasis there on what kind of people or guests are you seeing better SEO from by name associations or topics associations. That’s where I would put my emphasis and work in the future because that’s going to serve you well in the long run if that’s where the true conversion happens. If you’re a true conversion happens listeners, if listen first, then they become fans, then they go to our website, and do more, great. If that’s the path, you know that they take. If you don’t know the path, then you’re going to need to do both at the same time like you’re doing because you don’t always know.
One of the biggest lessons which I also admire you for is that it’s a long game with the podcasting and social media. That’s something that’s not spoken out enough. I want to emphasize this is there are plenty of cases of people who spring up, and they go viral quickly. They get lots of followers. That does happen sometimes. We’ve seen it happen on Clubhouse. I see it happen on TikTok, but it’s not guaranteed. If that doesn’t happen to you, a lot of people will give up and think that social doesn’t work. They’ll get very defeated. I found it over time, and I’ve been on social media for many years, is consistency like consistency with podcasting pays off because people trust you. They know that you’re not in it to get rich quickly. You’re in it because you care. You’re dedicated and connecting with people one by one, as I’ve seen you doing on Clubhouse, Tracy, that’s important.
For example, in Clubhouse, a lot of people want to be in big rooms. They want hundreds, thousands of people in their rooms but if your goal is to connect and convert, then you could have a few people in your Clubhouse rooms or a few people watching on TikTok or a few people listening on the podcast because those people might become clients. They might buy your products and/or might review your show, promote your show, recommend your show to friends. You never quite know the power that a few people can have on you. Don’t get caught up in the big numbers.
I want to end there because that was such beautiful advice. I appreciate all the vision that you’ve brought to our company, to your podcast and the podcasting community in general. I appreciate you, Whitney.
I appreciate you, Tracy. It’s a good time to shout you out as somebody I admire in podcasting because you’ve been called the Queen of Podcasting for a reason. I feel incredibly fortunate that I got to know you and that I’m part of your team. You are part of my team. It is one of the best things that have happened with me for my podcast, if not the best thing because it would’ve been so much work without a team. This is the tip that I give everybody. I’ll share one final tip if I haven’t made this clear already. Having a team makes a world of a difference with podcasting and social media. I am grateful that you and I are on each other’s teams. Thank you.
Whitney Lauritsen, This Might Get Uncomfortable. Check it out.
One of the reasons I wanted to have Whitney on is because she’s honest, straightforward in what she uses, trying, and she’s passionate and excited about it. She’s out there doing research on all kinds of things. She’s methodical about the stuff that she tries thinking about why she’s doing something, and then looking at it and going, “Is this the best way to do it? Can I learn something from the way that I had managed my Instagram? Can I try that here? Can I learn from a success factor that I heard from this podcaster but apply it in my way?” She’s great at making this customization, taking advice, and filtering it through her process.
That’s why she has many great gems to share, and that’s why many people look to her for advice on how to be successful as a podcast host. I want to make sure that you are checking out her show. It is not narrowly health and wellness. It is broad. There are lots of things on her show that they discuss that are things that we want to talk about and deal with. Her episode that I loved was on turning off, taking the digital day off, and applying it. She’s raw with how she talks about what she did and honest about the fact that she didn’t unplugged and her reasoning for turning on her Apple Home so that she could listen to music because it was so quiet because she was alone.
If I had a digital day off, my kids would be driving me insane. There would be way too much noise. I would have to turn the technology on to get some piece of quiet. Opposite worlds, but you hear that, that’s the specialness of what Whitney brings to the world and brings to her podcast, This Might Get Uncomfortable. You’re going to want to check that out. The big plus is that lots of the things that we model and we do, if you’re with us here at Podetize, in our coaching programs, you have access to Whitney, you can ask her questions, she’s always available. She’s great at filtering out things and giving us her honest view on how something works. I’m grateful to have her as part of our leadership team here at Podetize.
Thank you so much, Whitney. We appreciate you. We appreciate all our fabulous women podcasters that we featured on the show that are a part of the Podetize network. I’m loving how many women we have involved in the process and how many women’s voices are rising to the top. We’re bringing up all boats in that process in some great men like Jason Wrobel, who’s Whitney’s co-host, like my husband and partner, Tom Hazzard. We’re bringing them up in the process by being strong women and by bringing out our voices as well where we’re taking us all along for the rides together. That’s a fabulous thing. Thank you all for reading the show. I hope you got a lot out of this one. It’s jampack with lots of new ideas. I’m going to be back next time with even more new ideas right here on The Binge Factor.
- This Might Get Uncomfortable
- YouTube – Whitney Lauritsen
- Instagram – Whitney Lauritsen
- Jason Wrobel – Instagram
- Podcasting Business School
- Food Heals Podcast
- Food Heals
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