The Podcast-Listener Attraction Power of Talking Miracles & Redemption
As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a bingeable podcast”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rob Lohman.
Sober since 2001, Rob currently helps people suffering from substance abuse to find freedom from addiction and incarceration. He does this through sharing his testimony, Professional Interventions and Recovery Coaching, Advocacy, Self-Published Author and being the host of Beyond The Bars Radio Podcast and Addiction, Freedom & Faith.
Rob has been through the ringer, AND keeps bouncing back. His rap sheet includes alcohol and drug addiction, gambling addiction, divorce, bankruptcies, mental health and suicide ideation, prison, recovery and transformation.
Rob’s drinking career started at age 14 which lead to some very dark places in his life. The climax of Rob’s drinking career happened on June 7, 2001 with a suicide attempt interrupted by the compassion of his dog Jake. Upon a divine intervention, Rob was freed from his substance abuse addiction which began a rollercoaster ride in recovery…to which Rob has yet to take another drink or drug since that day.
In year eleven (11) of his sobriety journey, Rob had an emotional nervous breakdown which lead to a thirteen (13) year prison sentence, to which he was released in 10.5 months to a halfway house where he started to rebuild his life, along with his two children and wife who decided to remain married to Rob after the breakdown.
Rob now invests in the lives of those wanting to see positive change, whether it is coming out of addiction, prison or just wanting more for their lives. He is a dynamic speaker and shares an extremely powerful journey of persistence, faith, and inspiration.
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Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you to this particular career path?
Grew up in a Christian home being taught Christian values surrounded by wonderful family, extended family and friends. Over time, I went from a “happy go lucky” kid to an insecure, chameleon-like boy trying to just fit in. At age 14, alcohol had become my source of comfort followed by other addictions that led to a spiritually empty man. At age 29, I was staring at a 350 pound barbell about to crush my chest in an unplanned suicide attempt. Through Divine intervention, my dog Jake started nudging my knee as if he was saying “Dad…what about me?” My immediate thought was “Who is going to feed you in the morning!”. After a cry for help to God and my parents, my Aunt Carol took me to my first 12 Step Recovery meeting and I have not looked back since. Never went through detox (keep in mind I could drink the equivalent of two big bottles of scotch throughout the day) and have not had a craving in 19 years.
In year 11 of my recovery, I experienced a mental breakdown which sent me to prison with a 13-year sentence, which God delivered me from after 10.5 months. After 11 months in Community Corrections, I returned home to live back with my wife, Jen, and two adorable children. My story is filled with miracle after miracle. Jen deciding to remain married to me and work through our differences is definitely one of the best miracles. Here’s another to quickly mention. In 2019 my wife and I went through a 4.5 month marriage intensive. During that, Jen says “Honey, if God ever opens the door, the only cruise I would ever want to go on would be a Family Life Marriage Cruise. Well, in February 2020, we were blessed with a FREE gift to go on the 10th Anniversary of the? You guessed it…the Family Life Marriage Cruise with 2,100 other Christian couples! It was EPIC.
Ok..back to how I began my current career path! With felonies on my record and the serious challenges in finding a good-paying career, I did what any person with felonies does…started my own business. Through tons of training and mentorship, I launched Lifted From The Rut on January 1, 2016 where I now help people break free from addiction to recovery to living a transformed life through Interventions, Recovery Coaching, Advocacy and (of course) podcasting!
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
One thing I love to do is reach out to people on TV that touch me personally, usually people who broke free from addiction and created a fabulous life as a result. I reached out to and interviewed contestants on SharkTank and America’s Got Talent (still an active participant in the 2020 show). Also on A&E and a few other shows.
Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaways you learned from that?
I will never forget the time when I totally forgot to hit record during an amazing podcast interview. SUCH a bummer because there was so much great content, laughter and authenticity. Fortunately, we were able to schedule a time to record the episode again…and it was even better than ever.
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
I have been podcasting for 2.5 years, yet really ramped things up in 2020. 90 episodes have aired on Beyond The Bars Radio and only a few on my newest podcast Addiction, Freedom & Faith podcast which launched in September 2020. A number of the faith-based episodes from Beyond The Bars will make it over to Addiction, Freedom & Faith over the next several weeks.
What are the main takeaways, lessons or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?
That no matter where life has taken us, there is ALWAYS a new hope and a plan for your future. Your past does not define you, only shapes you into the person God is calling you towards.
In your opinion what makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or your content?
The podcasts are unscripted, real conversations with people who are passionate in helping others see that they are also worthy of greatness. We talk about real topics that affect almost every family in the world…addiction, unforgiveness, brokenness, anxiety, redemption, life transformation, recovery, the healing power of forgiveness.
Doing something on a consistent basis is not easy. Podcasting every work-day, or even every week can be monotonous. What would you recommend to others about how to maintain discipline and consistency? What would you recommend to others about how to avoid burnout?
Stay committed and be consistent. Listeners appreciate consistency….just like you appreciate it when your favorite TV show comes on at the same time every week.
It’s not easy work, but it is rewarding work. Lives are being changed as a result of your efforts…just believe that! I love it when I bump into people at a coffee shop or the grocery store and they say “Hey Lohman, I loved your last podcast on __________. I sent it to my friend who needed that!” So awesome when that happens. If you start feeling burned out, take a break and just repost old episodes.
What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?
Music. Everyday conversations. Social media postings. The Bible. My family.
Is there someone in the podcasting world who you think is a great model for how to run a really fantastic podcast?
Kristin Walker not only runs a great podcast, but an entire network called the Mental Health News Radio with 70+ podcasters! Such a blessing to be part of a great group of passionate advocates.
What are the ingredients that make that podcast so successful? If you could break that down into a blueprint, what would that blueprint look like?
Commitment. It is not easy work….as time investment from setting up interviews, to the interview itself, to editing, publishing and marketing the episodes is about 4 hours in total.
Clarity. Being clear on what the mission and message is of the podcast will bring clarity and purpose to what listeners can expect.
Collaboration. In my opinion, podcasting is a world of collaboration amidst other passionate podcasters to where we should support each other, encourage each other and promote each other.
Consistency. During the first 18 months of podcasting, I never really paid attention to the numbers of downloads or listeners. I just felt blessed to have an extension of my speaking platforms to reach people with relevant content and powerful stories. It was not until I started posting on a regular basis (weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays) that I saw a serious increase in growth.
Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast?
1) Vulnerability. Listeners subscribe because they are moved by the content and relevancy to their own lives. Being vulnerable is what connects people.
2) Laughter. I love cracking up with my guests and having fun…bantering back and forth brings levity to some tough conversations and topics. After all, my shows deal with the raw, real life struggles of addiction, incarceration, feelings of despair THAT turn to recovery, life transformation and discovering our purpose in life…as God ordained from the start.
3) LISTEN! I rarely have guests send me questions for the interview…just a brief highlight for the conversation. I ask guests to leave pause in their sharing so I can seek clarification or some more depth on their story or possibly some lingo the listeners may not understand.
4) Storytelling. Stories draw listeners in. I love building the story to a climax of redemption and hope. I see this time and time again with responses to episodes with such dramatic stories that listeners just cannot turn off the episode.
5) Team. Podcasting can be a lonely world…outside of the obvious of interviewing guests. I have joined several FB groups designed for podcasters to collaborate, seek feedback and support each other.
Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine Article about Rob Lohman!
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1) Book Great Guests. I use video email to send booking requests to people I find a good fit (I find people on social media, Amazon Best Seller Lists, colleagues, seminars….)
2) Increase Listeners. Make sure your guests are committed to promoting the episode through their emails channels and social media. Also, be a guest on other shows to help boost your reach.
3) Produce in a Professional Way. Figure out your style of show and make sure the final episode measures up to your standards.
4) Encourage Engagement. I say on almost every episode “Make sure you share this episode with your circles of influence…because if you don’t share about it, people cannot know about it.”
5) Monetize Your Show. Align yourself with people that share your same mission. Could be commercials. Could be financial contributors. Could be offering programs people can buy into as a result of the episode. Affiliate marketing.
What makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or the content itself?
Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine Article about Rob Lohman!