Tools of the Podcast Trade

How To Grow Your Business Through Podcasting w/Kelly Smith

September 21, 2023 J. Rosemarie Francis / Kelly Smith Episode 52
Tools of the Podcast Trade
How To Grow Your Business Through Podcasting w/Kelly Smith
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever thought about podcasting and its immense potential for businesses?

In this episode, Kelly Smith, founder of PodRep.Pro and the driving force behind Podcast Launchpad, reveals why podcasting is an essential tool for brand building and connecting with new customers.

Trust me, you'll want to hear Kelly's inspiring journey of a 12-year span in the world of podcasting, beginning with Geek Girls Soup.

Master the art of guest management and SEO optimization as we delve into the crux of it. Kelly's insights on podcast bookings and ensuring that your podcast reaches the right ears are just the tip of the iceberg.

So, brace yourself for an enlightening discussion filled with valuable insights and practical takeaways that you can apply in your podcasting journey. Are you ready to harness the power of podcasting?

Connect with Kelly: Website | Podcast Launchpad | LinkedIn

Bio: Kelly Smith is the founder of PodRep.Pro, a podcast booking agency that connects podcast guests and hosts so they all gain more visibility, more fans, and more sales. She has been podcasting since 2012 with Geek Girl Soup. 

Kelly is also the author of The Podcast Launch Playbook. She is the host of Podcast Launchpad, where she helps entrepreneurs use their own podcasts as a marketing tool to grow their businesses.

Podcasting can be overwhelming and lonely. But it doesn't have to be. Don't get stuck! Get a mentor with the PodCubator Accelerator Pro Podcast Mentorship program.

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Speaker 1:

This is Tools of the Podcast Trade, where you can learn about the tools and resources you can use to start and grow your podcast Tune in this week, as we talk about the help you need to remove the mystery from podcasting so you can become a successful podcaster that can reach your audience where they are. Today I'm speaking with Kelly Smith, founder of Potteryp Pro, host of Podcast Launchpad and co-hosts of Geek Girls Sooth.

Speaker 2:

Welcome, Kelly. Thank you, Jen. I'm so happy to be here. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1:

All right, I appreciate you. All right. So before we get into our conversation, we kind of had a little bit of back and forth about what we're going to talk about. I appreciate the heads up, but tell us who is Kelly Smith. Oh gosh.

Speaker 2:

I've been podcasting for almost 12 years now. Yes started with Geek Girls Sooth. I've had a few other podcasts in the past 11 plus years, and most recently I am active with Podcast Launchpad, which helps entrepreneurs use their own podcast as a marketing tool to grow their business. I am a professional artist on the side, which I've been doing sort of my whole life, but professionally since 1999. And I have been. I was an assistant editor on a documentary film just a couple of years ago called Introducing Brian Broome, so I've had my fingers in a little bit of everything I see. You know, sometimes it's sort of hard to choose one thing, isn't it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, don't? We have that issue sometimes. Yes, yeah, yes, okay, all right. So what got you into podcasting? I know you you doubled in some stuff, but what really got you into podcasting? Cause you seem like you're really in tune with it.

Speaker 2:

Yes. So when I started with Geek Girls Sooth, honestly I had never listened to a podcast before. I had a couple of buddies who had started Geek Girls Sooth, really challenging themselves to get their voices out there. They had been listening to other podcasts. We talk about movies and TV shows and diversity, equity and inclusion in the film and TV industry, and they just they're pretty shy and they just decided that if all these other people are sharing their opinions on pop culture, why can't we share ours? And they brought me in two months later to talk about video games. I'm not a big gamer, but I had been playing a few things at the time and from that point on I stuck around and became a regular co-host and I just fell in love with it, started to listen to a few podcasts and then started wanting to support my business at that time and over the years just got more and more into it. And then, about a year and a half ago, people were asking me more and more about how do I start my own podcast? Can you recommend a course? When they found out how long I'd been doing it, I'm like I can't recommend a course. I just started doing it. I learned by doing, and so I started my own course, switched over to being a podcast consultant and just love doing it. Love helping people podcast on their own, you know, start their own and now get into podcast guesting.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Okay, yeah, that's. It's a really fun media. I mean, I've never been any other media, but this is really fun.

Speaker 2:

It really is. It's a great way to get your voice out there.

Speaker 1:

Yes, thank you. So we're going to talk about guesting, we're going to get into the meat of podcast guesting and guest management, but I also want to ask you about why do you think it's important for businesses to have a podcast.

Speaker 2:

It is such a powerful way to share your message, to boost your authority and to reach a new audience. People spend just seconds scanning a blog or online article. They kind of know what they're looking for, and they don't read the blog or article word for word, they're just scanning. You know, do you find yourself doing that? You know, I certainly do. I love reading, but I'm not reading it word for word. And with online videos, they may fast forward through it again to find what they're looking for, especially if the video has captions or subtitles. Podcasting is currently the only long form of media online that people are consuming. It turns out that more than 80% of podcast listeners are listening to the entire episode that they start listening to, and that is amazing. So whatever message that you are getting out there in your episode, 80% of the people who hit play are listening to the whole thing, so you have time to really get your message out there. And then, as a business owner, when you are wanting people to buy from you right Now, your episodes can't be infomercials, but you are getting your listeners to know, like and trust you. And when you are sharing a call to action at the end or in the show notes. As your listeners get to know like and trust you, they are going to be more ready to buy from you after they've listened to you for a little while.

Speaker 1:

Yes, definitely, all right. So we're leading up to this guessing thing, and I keep repeating it because that's what we're going to talk about for real. But since we talk about business owners wanting to start podcasts the other day I touched on the best way for a business to build its brand was through podcasting, right? Yes, and being a guest on podcasts. Can you expand on that?

Speaker 2:

Yes. So even if a business owner doesn't want to start their own podcast because it really does take a lot of time, and if you don't have time to put into having your own podcast and you don't want to outsource it to a podcast production company to do it for you, at least start out with being a guest on podcasts. There are so many benefits to being a guest on other podcasts. You get to reach new audiences because you're borrowing the hosts listeners. So these are people who may have never heard of you before and the host is essentially endorsing you by having you on their show. They're like saying, hey, I picked this person to be on my show. I'm essentially vouching for them, so listen to what they have to say. So you are reaching all of these people who now are getting to know, like and trust you. And when the host shares their episode to their audience, you're getting access to those people. You are boosting your reputation and your authority. When you're on that episode sharing in a powerful way, you are really showing that you know your stuff. And that is so powerful because reaching this new audience, or these new audiences, because you need to go on more than one podcast, you need to do like a little podcast tour and go on a bunch of podcasts, then you are showing that you are a go-to expert in your field and doing a podcast tour is a great way to promote a launch, a book, your brand, especially if you have just rebranded or if you're new in your field. Then you do this little podcast tour. You know, like when authors do a book tour and they usually do it in person, right, so you go on the podcast tour and that's a great way to reach these new audiences. Or when actors do a movie tour, you know a movie junket to promote their movie and that's why, like right now with the writers and actor strikes, some movies are being pushed back months and months. They aren't being released in the fall because the actors won't be able to promote the movies. So you see how powerful they think the movie tours are, and so you should really consider a podcast tour when you have something to promote. Again, you're not selling on the episode, but the listeners are getting to know, like and trust you, and you're usually able to share something at the very end, even if it's just your website link. Yes, definitely.

Speaker 1:

I love the way you said it. You phrase it that the host is endorsing you. He's saying look here's my friend and listen to them, right? So I like that. I like how you phrase that and I do agree with you saying that it's one of the best ways to get your brand out there. So serve someone else's audience. Yes.

Speaker 2:

And it's all about creating value for the host's audience. It can't be all about me, me, me. It's always about creating value for the host's listeners. That's priority number one.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Okay, all right, thank you. So I have two podcasts and in both of them I interview guests. So at one point I kind of just assumed everybody wanted to interview guests, but there are a lot of podcasters who do solo episodes. Yes, now can you talk to podcasters about the value in having guests on their show?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, so real quick. The value, first, of doing solo episodes is that you're establishing and maintaining your authority and expertise in your field, and so there's kind of a risk of having guests on your show when you're an entrepreneur and your podcast is a marketing tool to grow your business right, because you want to maintain your authority in order to use your podcast to drive clients and customers to your business. And when you have guests on, they become the expert and authority during that episode. So I'm acknowledging that there's a risk to that, but there are ways that you can handle that when you have guests on. So there are benefits to having guests on your show. Obviously, or we wouldn't be having guests on and I have guests. About half of my episodes at Podcast Launchpad are guest episodes. So there are four big benefits of having guests on your show. One is you get diverse perspectives and topics. So when you do diverse perspectives and topics on your episodes or on your show, you are exposing your listeners to these things that otherwise they'd be going to other podcasts to find. Now they're doing that anyway, but they really appreciate getting these diverse opinions and episodes on your show. They appreciate you for doing that and they're getting a more compelling and interesting show from that. And, oh my gosh, guests help with content generation. Right, it gets tough coming up with new content all the time the longer our podcast goes on. That is one of the reasons a big reason that podcasters quit their shows called PodFade. So when we have guests on their show, they help us come up with new content for our episodes A big benefit of having guests. A third benefit is the networking that comes from having guests on our show. They can make referrals for other great guests. They can refer clients to us and vice versa. I've referred clients to my guests and they've referred clients to me. They can refer us to get speaking gigs and we can do collaborations with guests, friends that we really hit it off with and where there's a synergy there and we can just become friends with guests. That's nice too and finally, we can reach new audiences. They're our guests. That's one of the big reasons that we have guests on right, because we expect them to share their episodes and of course, they don't always, unfortunately, or they may share minimally, which is really sad and disappointing. But there are things that we can do to help with that. I don't know if you want me to share that now or if you want to ask about that later.

Speaker 1:

Well, we can talk about it. But also one of the things that I heard is complained is that you know, I guess we'll say to me you know, I've been on these shows and nobody's ever shared a link with me or asked me to share it with someone. So there is that.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeah there is that too. So, yeah, I have had that problem too when I've been a guest on shows recently and I was telling you about this beforehand I was a guest on a show and the host did not tell me that they had published the episode. I asked if they had any assets for social media that I could share. They said no and didn't send me the link or anything. And the only way I found out that they had published the episode already is because I had a weird feeling, and so I went to Apple Podcasts to check it out and there it was.

Speaker 1:

Very disappointing.

Speaker 2:

So how am I supposed?

Speaker 1:

to share.

Speaker 2:

And I cannot share in Instagram without social media assets. You know you can't share a link in Instagram.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we hosts can make it really easy for our guests to share when we tell them ahead of time that you know when the episode is going to be published, Because some guests plan their social media calendar well in advance and if they have some launch that they're going to be promoting, they likely are not going to promote our episode during that time, so you may want to find out from them ahead of time. Hey, is this going to be a good time for me to share publish your episode? And then we need to tell them hey, it just launched. We need to give them the link to share. It's really great if we can create an episode specific cover art with their photo on it. It's not absolutely necessary, but guests really like to share that. And, finally, if we can create clips from the episode, ideally with video, and make them really pretty and send those to the guest for them to share.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's a good idea. Now I create, I do all the things you mentioned, but I don't usually think about sharing it with my guests, Because sometimes it feels pushy to me.

Speaker 2:

So I'll send them a link and if they ask for more I'll give it, but yeah, just go ahead and put it all in a Google folder or send them with we transfer dot com or Dropbox or whatever. I usually put them in a Google folder and just send that over to them and it. You know it's optional, but it shows that I love for them to share. And if you don't do that, then otherwise, and you share real on Instagram, then the most they can do is share your real as a story and that's fine, but it's not nearly as good as sharing a real as an original post.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that really makes sense. So the point is sorry, sorry, I was just going to say so the point is give your guests as much as possible with just a link to say here it is, and let them decide how much of it they want to share. Yeah, exactly exactly.

Speaker 2:

Give them as much as you can for them to share and just and then they have the option to do it. Be sure to follow them on social media and tag them when you share.

Speaker 1:

Yes, definitely All right. Thank you, I like that. Thank you very much. Absolutely, yeah, for sure, all right. So let's talk about ROI, of having guests on your part on your show. I think you kind of touched on some, but if you could specifically address that, yes.

Speaker 2:

So we, yeah, especially like the sharing is big when we want to see results from having guests on our show. That big one is going to be when the guest shares our episode, but there are some others. So one big one is having the episodes found by search engines. So a lot of people are finding podcast episodes or the whole show in Google. So we need to make sure that our SEO, search engine optimization, is really good. So one way to do that or here are a few ways I should say you need to put the guest name in the episode title, and most people do that. I would suggest not putting it at the beginning unless the guest's name is really big. So, for example, I don't know what you're going to title this episode, but my suggestion is to put with Kelly Smith at the end of the title. Now, if it's a big name, let's say, like Amy Porterfield, I put her name at the beginning. So, for example, amy Porterfield shares five secrets to digital course success, because in that case her name is so big, she's so well known that it's not a waste of like title real estate to put her name at the beginning. So that makes sense for SEO. You definitely want to put the guest's name in the show notes and on the episode page on your website and, of course, in the SEO settings on your website. When you go in to the settings and WordPress, wix or Squarespace or whatever, then add their name there as well too. Then, also in the episode page on your website and in the SEO settings on your website, include other details about the guest and things related to the episode, of course, but like the guest's company name. If they have a book, put the book name. If they have a podcast, put the name of the podcast and anything else related to them. So that way when people are searching the guest and anything related to the guest, then your episode has a better chance of showing up. So with me, for example and Kelly Smith is a common name, so or not an unusual name so if you put podcast launchpad, geek Girl Soup I have a book called the podcast launch playbook, you know, putting those little things in the SEO and possibly in a little bio on the episode page on your website, that will help the episode be found. If people are searching any of those things. I have some episodes that will show up in Google when someone searches related search terms for a guest. They're not looking for my episode, they're looking for the guest and I'll show up high in Google just because of that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I've had a couple of incidents right back too. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's pretty cool.

Speaker 2:

Then having the interview go really, really well is another thing that helps you maximize your ROI, because to get great guests on your show, you need to have a great episode, or not a great episode, but lots of great episodes. So you need to go into every interview like it's going to be the best ever. So a few ways to do that are to learn as much as you can without going overboard about the guest's topic, so you can make intelligent comments during the discussion. It's not going to be like a bullet point style Q&A, of course. It's going to be more of a discussion and you need to hold your own. This is one of the things I was referring to earlier about a risk of having guests on your show. They're going to be the authority, but you can maintain your authority by making good comments about what they're talking about. Also, when you're preparing your questions for them, you can try to come up with questions that are unique or unusual. So one time I think twice maybe I had a host. Instead of saying like tell me how you got started as an entrepreneur, they said tell me about the time that you tried to sell your artwork at the end of your driveway when you were seven, I was like, oh my gosh, that's awesome, because they had to dig deep to find that. They found it on my artist website. It's like, wow, good job doing your homework and another way to have a really great interview. Of course, keep it as conversational as possible and make it as fluid as you can. If you're as friendly as possible, like if you can come across like old friends, that's really great. And when potential guests go to check out your podcast to decide if they want to be on the show, that'll make a really good impression and make them go. Yes, I want to be on that show yeah.

Speaker 1:

in other words, don't make you the grill in making a conversation.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, exactly, yeah, okay, all right, okay, thank you, and that's something that I found when I was listening to this show and deciding to come on. You just sounded so friendly with your guests and it just felt so natural and I was like, yes, I definitely want to come on the show.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Thank you for saying that, because sometimes I'm as nervous as X.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely Me too. It's like every interview. It's like how is it going to go? Am I going to fumble over my words? And it always happens, and all we can do is practice and we get better as we go. So, no matter how long you've been doing this, you still get nervous.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I think it gets easier, especially if you're talking about podcasting and it's something you really love, like if it's a topic you really love and passionate about, it's not as difficult.

Speaker 2:

But I get it Definitely yes, okay.

Speaker 1:

So I've made some errors over the course of the last six years in podcasting, especially with guesting, guest management because I tried to do everything myself, yeah, and there are times when I miss my guests, yeah, because I different things like different reasons. So can you give us some best practices for managing guest?

Speaker 2:

Oh, yes, okay. So I have an application on my website for people who want to be a guest and it's pretty lengthy. I also use it as like. It can double as an onboarding form. So I ask a lot of questions on it because it helps me do my homework to vet the guest, so that's one way people can ask to be a guest on my show. When I reach out to people asking them to be a guest, I make it a concierge service. If you will, like, I'll do all the work. The only thing I ask them for is a photo. I put a bio together for them based on like. If I'm using Podmatch, then they have a bio right there, so I'll use that and just tweak it. If I'm reaching out to them by hand, which is what I do a lot of the time, then I will cobble together a little bio for how I introduced them at the beginning, based on their website and based on their LinkedIn, and my guests tend to be really impressed by that because I've made something unique for my show. Instead of asking them hey, send me your official bio that I can just shorten and read verbatim. I do ask for official bios from people who request to be on my show, and then I will change it up and make it work for me and shorten it a lot. But with people I invite on my show, it's really great to make it a concierge service. What else? Oh, a calendar system, of course, where they can schedule themselves. Everyone does that now. So Ta fif, fiet, that's you know, no brainer, that's easy. A spreadsheet or Project management system. I like basic spreadsheets. I use a Google sheet to keep track of your guests. It's great to know who's already been on your show, when they were on their show, a link to their episode on your website, any notes you want to make about them, their email address, and, and that way you know if you're thinking about guests in the future. You may forget who was on your show. So it's easy just to refer to your list on that spreadsheet and if you want someone back in the future, then you can look back and say, oh, it's been over a year, you know, or it's been a few years, so it's time for them to come back. As opposed to, oh, I feel like it's been forever, but it's been only six months, right, okay. So all of that makes it much easier and I like to write down a workflow, so a standard operating procedure for getting guests on the show and for what I need to do for the guests, and one key part of that is the end of the episode. So what I was talking about earlier sending the guy or letting the guests know when I'll be publishing the episode. Sometimes I know that, often I know it at the time of the interview and so I'll try to tell them that I don't always know and I may shuffle things around, but when I know, I tell them at the end of the interview and then, of course, the prompt or the reminder to Send them all of the assets and give a reminder on the day that it publishes, or a few days before, when possible.

Speaker 1:

Oh, all right, Thank you. That's a lot there, but it's Makes sense. You know it makes sense and I'm sure it will help you know us to Put proper perspective on what we're doing, because we get excited with the guests and then we forget all the steps. It is a lot.

Speaker 2:

It really is a lot. It's yeah, it's not easy, but we can simplify it and I really do like standard operating procedures for that. I I have my steps written down Because it's too easy to forget things. It really is. We have a lot Just producing solo episodes. You know that's tough enough and when you add guests into the mix, we get better and better at it the more we do it. But those extra steps of scheduling the guests and then doing the follow-up and sending them the assets, it's a lot to remember. So write it all down as a checklist and again a spreadsheet or a Project management system. Those make it much easier to do.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it is. I'm just starting to learn to use PodSop. That's the.

Speaker 2:

One-to-Pod match. Yeah, it's great, love it. That's what I used to mm-hmm. Yeah, yes.

Speaker 1:

All right. Thank you, kelly Smith, for coming and speaking to us today. I really appreciate you. We have a lot as you know there are a lot of questions in podcasting from podcasters and aspiring podcasters. My question for you right now is what is Kelly grateful for today?

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, I am grateful for you for having me on the show. I Am grateful for the podcasting community. It is such an open and generous community, one of the best I have ever been involved with over the past more than 11 years. I just love it, and going to podcasting conferences is so wonderful, getting to meet people in person, and I tell you, podcasting was really my saving grace. During COVID or during the lockdown, my buddies at Geek Girl Soup and I we were record virtually so we would get together every Sunday. That's when we got really serious about recording weekly. Haven't missed a week since then, since lockdown, and you know, to be able to do that, get together and have that consistency Really saved us mentally.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, pretty awesome. Yeah, you're not the first guess I hear say that either.

Speaker 2:

What are you grateful for?

Speaker 1:

I'm grateful for this, for to be able to connect with Individuals I would not normally connect with, and I travel a lot, right, yeah, I speak with guests in Australia, singapore, south Africa, all over the place without podcasting I wouldn't. I wouldn't be able to do that, so that's something I'm grateful for today. Oh that's wonderful Thank you. Yeah, sure, All right. So can you give two tips to aspiring podcasters who want to start a podcast or maybe in the middle of trying one?

Speaker 2:

Yes. So first go easy on yourself. It is hard, it's hard to stick with, but you can Do it. So when you feel like you can't Give yourself a break I don't mean take time off from it, I mean give yourself grace and Keep doing it. So that's the first tip. Second tip Be committed to it, because that is how you will get through. Find a little course. There are a Free courses, there are inexpensive courses, there are podcasts that you can listen to. That'll help you. Find something that will help you stick with podcasting and be committed to doing it. And I'm going to challenge you to be committed for at least one year. It takes time to see the results you're looking for. It really does. You can listen to other podcasters who say it even took them two or three years to see the results they wanted. So don't give up. Don't give it just a few months. Give it at least one year. You can do it. Go with Grace.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Thank you for sharing that, and I'm going to give you the opportunity now to tell us how we can get in touch with you, your online presence anywhere, anything to share with us.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely so. You can find me at podreppro. That is my main website. There is a link to my podcast right there and a link to a little private podcast I have, which is a mini series called a bingeable five episode mini series called podcast guesting insider tips. So you have access to everything right there.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and did you provide some type of coaching to podcasters or to business owners?

Speaker 2:

Yes, so hosts and guests. It is. Podreppro is a podcast booking agency which connects guests and hosts so they all gain more visibility, more fans and more sales. So I help both guests and hosts. All right.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for sharing that and we'll put the links in the show notes. I really appreciate you, kelly Smith. You shared a lot of value with us and I thank you for that.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much, Janet. It was a pleasure being on the show.

Speaker 1:

Got questions about podcasting. Do you find yourself struggling with the tools and strategies that you know will help you launch and grow your show? Why not join the newest podcasters club where you can get your questions answered by me or one of our guest expert? The link to our next meeting is below Sign up today and don't let confusion about podcasting stop you from owning your genius. Whether you're an individual or a nonprofit, the newest podcasters club is where podcasters come for answers and hello for our next meeting.

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