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Podcast Guesting Pro founder Graham Brown joins podcast Miko Santos on the "That Podcast Exchange" podcast to discuss growing your podcast the right way through data. The following is a transcript of their conversation. For more tips on podcast guesting success, go to our podcast guesting resources.

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Miko Santos 00:00

We're excited to announce that our very own podcasting platform Zencaster have become the new sponsor to the show. Check out the podcast discount link in our show notes, stay tuned for why we love using Zencaster for the podcast. Are you looking to start your joining podcasting, but not sure how? Kangaroofern Media Lab got you covered, everything you need to know in launching and growing your podcast is here. Book a call now at kangaroofern.com. By the way, I just released my ebook harness, the power of podcasting. To get a free copy, just go over to mikosantos.co/freebook. That is M I K O S A N T O S.co/freebook

Speaker 00:54 

This podcast is produced and managed by Kangaroo Fern Media Lab, Australia's independent video and podcast company. We do the podcasting hard bits, so you don't have to. We make podcasts easy. Book a call at www.kangaroofern.com

Miko Santos 01:14
A kangaroo Fern production. Coming up next on that podcast is change. 

Graham Brown 01:19
Rather than chase the variables, find the format, meaning find an episode with good podcast market fit. Don't overthink why it's successful. Just make more of that. So that's more guided by data as opposed to opinion. And it's the same with the podcast. Keep your people coming back, give them a reason, give them a story to bring your audience. To the next episode. And so many hosts missed this opportunity because I think they're just focused on getting that one episode out.
Miko Santos 01:59

You're listening to that podcast exchange, the show that will provide you valuable information and advice from world class podcast experts to teach you the best practices to be successful in podcasting the show for early stage podcasters and service providers, to give them the latest trends, news and new opportunities in the podcast industry. Now onto the show with your host Miko Santos, the founder of Kangaroo Fern Media Lab.

Miko Santos 02:35
Hello podcast friends, on today's episode, we're talking about AI, artificial intelligence, and how data can help you grow your podcasts. And we also discuss podcasting as a tool for leaders, coaches, and for your personal branding. Our guest for today is Graham Brown. He is the founder of Pikkal and Co, award-winning podcast agency, an AI powered, data driven, B2B podcast agency based in Singapore. By the way, this episode is sponsored by Zencaster. It's an all in one podcast production software that gives you studio quality, audio, and video without needing all the technical knowhow. It records each guest locally, then uploads the crystal clear audio and video right into the suit. So you have a high quality raw materials to work with. It records each guest locally, then upload the crystal clear audio and video right into the dashboard. So you have a high quality raw materials to work with, to you as a listener, Zencaster gives you 30% off on Zencaster professional account. Just use the promo code - that podcast exchange. Please do support the companies that support us, check them out at
www.kangaroofern.com/advertiser . All right, let's dive into today's episode with Graham Brown. Thank you for your time. 

Graham Brown 04:15

Thank you, Miko. It's great to be here.

Miko Santos 04:17

Yeah. Thank you so much for your time. So, you founded an award winning podcast agency. You said it's an AI powered, data driven, B2B podcast agency. It's quite new on my end. I also have a podcast agency, but what is AI powered, data driven?

Graham Brown 04:37

Yeah, well, I'm an AI graduate for my sins. Ended up in podcasting many years after graduating, but the sync with podcasting is, we are focused purely on B2B podcasts, which are very different from B2C podcasts. I think people don't realize there is a difference between the two. B2B is not a genre. B2B is how we communicate. So for corporates, for example, enterprise, banks, management consultancies, they create podcasts, not as a marketing campaign, but as a communication strategy. So as a part of that, they need a lot of data. They need a lot of performance data, you know, how are they doing? What is the template that works for their podcast? And a lot of that is accessible from the data that you can get from a podcast. So really to answer your question, it just means using data to help improve and understand. What works when it comes to podcasting. 

Miko Santos 05:45

All right. So data driven. So the next question I have for you Graham is that, okay - you got data right now. So I got data to use. How would you use your data to grow your podcast? 

Graham Brown 05:59 

Yeah, that's a good question. So a lot of people focus on, for example, audience numbers, which are obviously important in growing a podcast, but the audience numbers are a trailing indicator of growth. Audience numbers are your results rather than the inputs into the results. So you can take, for example, data on any podcast and find, what we call a podcast market fit. A podcast market fit is where roughly 75% of the audience listen to 75% of the episode. So if you have an episode in your portfolio of podcasts that has good podcast market fit, that then becomes the template or the champion podcast from which you can then create new episodes. See, the challenge is Miko, that there are so many variables in what makes a podcast successful and your listeners will pull their hair out. They will struggle when they try and optimize, look at the data. They try and change something and then it goes up and then it goes down. It can be very, very frustrating. So what we advise our clients is that rather than chase the variables, find the format, meaning, find an episode with good podcast market fit. Don't overthink why it's successful. Just make more of that. So that's more guided by data as opposed to opinion. So that's how you can use your data. And the result of that is looking at how does that impact audience, audience growth over the long term.

Miko Santos 07:56 

So you need to check your data on one episode, for example, and then replicate that or tweak that to make it grow the podcast. 

Graham Brown 08:04 

Well, let's say you have a series. So, this is difficult if you are just doing marketing campaigns, that's why it doesn't work. But in B2B all the podcast clients we take on are long term, you know, we take on clients with a view to not doing 6, 7, 8 episodes. Our view is to do this for 6, 7, 8 years with the client, because it's a communication strategy. It's not a marketing campaign. So once you start building up back catalog data of your podcast. Let's say you have 15-20 podcasts. What you can do is look at that data set. And then from that find of those 20 podcasts, which are the ones which have the highest podcast market fit. And then maybe it's episode three, maybe it's episode seven, do more like episode three, do more like episode seven and you can break this down. You can quadrant this data, you can split it by, for example, engagement and audience. So you may find, for example, some podcasts have high engagement, low audience, some podcasts have high audience, low engagement, and those will tell you different insights, high engagement, low audience means this is a niche niche podcast. Maybe it's a special subject that a lot of people are, maybe aren't interested in, but a small number, very, very interested in it. And if you have a high audience, low engagement, then maybe the title of the podcast is very appealing, but the content isn't very good. So this gives you information and guides you. This is the answer. It guides you towards constant improvement in your podcast results. 

Miko Santos 10:00
So you're saying about the content. So its content is still the king.

Graham Brown 10:04 

Yeah. You can't grow a podcast with rubbish content. You need that. You can do one or two episodes, but you'll lose people if the story isn’t engaging. A lot of podcasts hosts miss the opportunity to create a narrative. And I'm not talking about each episode, but there has to be a narrative. You know, why are your listeners gonna listen to Graham today? And then listen to the next one? And then listen to the next one. You know, your job as a host, Miko, is to take them on a journey. So, you know, you are like a radio host, you know, you are constantly bringing people, a call back, you know, go and listen to episode 17, where we talk about, for example, you know, how to construct a podcast and go and listen to episode 19 where we talk about storytelling. So the key is to create that narrative, that through story which most hosts don't do this Miko. I think that most hosts just do an episode, do an episode, do an episode, but that's not how you grow a podcast today. You know, you don't get a guest and the guest brings an audience. It doesn't happen anymore. It's like a restaurant. You know, anybody can fill a restaurant Saturday, Sunday night, but people where success in a restaurant is made is Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon, you know, is bringing people back. So the people that came on Friday and Saturday, to eat with their friends. They come back on Tuesday and Wednesday with some other friends. That's how you grow a successful restaurant. And it's the same with the podcast. Keep your people coming back, give them a reason, give them a story to bring your audience back to the next episode. And so many hosts missed this opportunity because I think they just focused on getting that one episode out. 

Miko Santos 11:59

So you need to have a good recipe to go back and go back. 

Graham Brown 12:05

Yeah, absolutely. You know, we underestimate the value of audience attention and we have to respect the fact that once they listen to their podcast, that's it, they're gone. So what is gonna bring people back on Tuesday to listen, you know, back to the restaurant on a rainy Tuesday evening, that's the challenge, right? So keeping people coming back, compounding small percentage growth can create significant results over the long term with podcast audience. 

Miko Santos 12:38 

So, how do we get back the audience as a retention? What do your advice to them? 

Graham Brown 12:44

You know, your host has to understand what his or her role is. You know, you're not an interviewer, you are a guide, you are a guide for your audience. And one of the first things that I do when I work with clients is to identify the audience avatar. Who are they? What is their job role? What is their language that they use to talk about what they do? And importantly, what is their pain point or frustration? You know, what are they really pissed off about at the moment? What is the big change that's affecting them? The thing that's stopping them. And if you have a good understanding of this frustration, this pain point, then you have permission to take your audience on a journey. So yeah, there are tactical things you can do Miko, to get audiences coming back, but those tactical measures only make sense when you have a good understanding. So all the podcast hosts out there, you know, you need a good understanding of who your audience is, you need to talk to them, you need to find out at the emotional level, what their problems are. That takes a bit of work, talking to them, building a relationship, make them part of it and take them on a journey. You know, why am I coming back next week? You know, give them a reason. Like this is a journey. We are on a journey. We are podcast hosts together on Miko's podcast to learn how to build and launch our podcast. Where's the journey in that? Where's the promised land that the host is taking them to, and that's what we have to do as podcast hosts. We have to paint that picture for our audience of what we hope to achieve with this podcast.

Miko Santos 14:30

So you say you have to have your goal. Why are you starting a podcast? It's not only just, alright, it's easy to create a podcast, but you have to learn. And what is your main goal? Why are you starting it. 

Graham Brown 14:45 

Yeah. And hosts aren't obviously clear on podcasting, which is fine. It takes time. I think a lot of people start a podcast because it's fun and they have experienced a podcast and maybe listened to them, consume them, or have guessed on a podcast and therefore they want to do it themselves. Maybe emotionally, they want to do it, logically they're still working out the goal. Why, and I say to clients, it's key to understand in podcasting, there are two motivations, intrinsic and extrinsic intrinsic, meaning internal, so you do the podcast because it is a fantastic way to improve your storytelling skills. Storytelling, not meaning once upon a time, but how do you communicate data or information or your career, whatever it may be in a package that people understand. So most people like, you know, my background was in AI, your background was in journalism, right? So often all of us, we have these kinds of dots in life. They don't always connect and podcasting on the intrinsic motivation side is a great way to get on stage and share those stories, validate them and make sense of them. So it's a great way to create consistency in your narrative. So that's the intrinsic side and that alone is a fantastic motivation and reason to do it. You know, if you just want to do a podcast because it's a great way to improve your storytelling skill, do that. Now the other side is extrinsic. Motivations goals related to business, and it's be clear about why you're doing it. If you're doing it for a business, then understand why you are doing it. You know, a lot of people think about how do I monetize my podcast. They ask this question and it's the wrong question to ask I feel, obviously, if you are selling advertising, that's fine, but we have to realize if we, business owners or we are in B2B or we have an agency like ourselves, then we already have an advertiser, us. We're the biggest advertiser, the most important advertiser for this podcast. So we use the podcast not to create real estate so somebody else can advertise on it, but we use it to create a relationship with our network, to build thought leadership, to get leads. It's a fantastic way of getting leads. So the goal part, I think, is being clear, intrinsic and or extrinsic motivations. And you can do both. Or just one, but as you grow, you should need to focus on which area are you gonna make this podcast a solution for you personally. 

Miko Santos 17:50

Very well said. I totally agree with that, Graham. So, it has to have a good planning, your idea, and it's a long run. So a lot of early stage podcasts are now, some of them are doing the podcast just for fun. Do you think if you are starting a podcast, you have to think it as a business as well to make it grow.

Graham Brown 18:11 

Not necessarily, because some of the best podcasts weren't started as businesses, right. They were started because people cared about something, you know, unless you're a podcast agency like me or you, then the podcasting business is small. But if you are in the business of selling something like consultancy or coaching or any conceptual sale, then podcasting is not your business. Podcasting is for you like a meeting. It's a way of meeting somebody. You know, it's a fantastic business development tool. I've sat in front of CEOs of businesses, I've sat in front of Tony Fernandez from AirAsia and in a podcast, I had him on my podcast and he did business. We did business together after the podcast. Think of that as a business development tool, the chances of me getting in front of Tony and selling to him are very, very small. There's many, many people here in Asia who want to sell to Tony and, but doing a podcast with him is different.  I can get an owl with him. I can connect with him, man to man and have a deep human conversation, and then we can do business together. So I put it out to everybody here, your listeners, if you are starting a podcast that if you are in business, think of this as your business development tool, think of what your business would look like, sound like in a year's time, if you could network and create 100 deep connections, you know, have a hundred conversations with people in your world at very deep and meaningful level, it would change your business entirely. So the podcast is not a business. Except for us, right or maybe some advertisers, but for most people, it's a very, very powerful business tool.

Miko Santos 20:18

So you said podcasting is a very powerful tool for leaders, business. How, what for personal branding, how well podcasting and now they're looking at the video podcast now through YouTube as part of personal branding. 

Graham Brown 20:35 

Yeah, I work now helping thought leaders, guests on other people's podcasts. And for them it's a great way to build their personal brand because it's a great way to get in touch with audiences globally, who like yourself, Miko, you have curated a community, you have nurtured your community. You care about your listeners. You've grown this podcast. You've looked after, there are 4 million of those podcasts in the world, right? So think about that as a personal branding tool, all these podcasts are stages for you and what better way to build your brand than to get on these stages that people have looked after and grown without you having to do all the heavy work, and you can share your story to thousands of people without leaving your home, you don't have to travel. You don't, you know, we've done conferences, you speak at a conference, it's a day out of the office. It's a waste, but you could do this, like we are in different time zones, right? So imagine what you could do. You could reach huge audiences and the beauty of building your personal brand is firstly, you don't need millions of people you know. If you can access a podcast with just 200 listeners, Imagine going on stage and speaking to a conference of 200 people who really cared about what you were talking about. That's powerful. You can do that in your shorts. You know, you can do that in your house. That's one. And the second part about building a personal brand and why personal branding works really well with podcasts rather than TikTok or Twitter, every podcast that you and I do Miko, is on Google, right? So, if I wanna search for a thought leader in this space, chances are, it may come up in my search results and it will be there years and years from now, like even on LinkedIn, I think most posts last two days, but I've got podcasts published that are out there still, which I'm embarrassed a little bit by eight years ago, but that's the power, you're creating an asset, which goes out there and think about that for a personal brand. You could do, if you did a hundred podcasts a year in five years, there's 500 of your conversations out there talking to people all, all the time. So I think we, in building personal brands have got to maybe step back from the shiny exciting Tiktok, Instagram world, which is more visually appealing and look at what really works long term. 

Miko Santos 23:30

Yeah. Very well said for that. So next in relation with your podcast agency, what are you most excited about this year?

Graham Brown 23:39

Yeah. What am I most excited about, so I do, I work in podcasting in two ways. One is a podcast agency, which is B2B focussed, entirely on enterprise. So management consultancy, bank and government predominantly, and you know, that's a very stable and it's a very rewarding business. And the other side, which is the last year, is podcast guesting and I'm very excited about this because I feel we're at the beginning of something new that obviously the pandemic has helped a lot. It's helped because people now ask questions. Should I travel? Even if somebody says to you now, Miko, let's meet for a coffee. We're like, I'm not sure, let's do zoom, but you would meet somebody for a coffee if you really cared about that person right, but those kind of casual meetings that we just zoom to Google meet, right? So we are not meeting people as much as we used to. So people are turning to podcasts, which obviously is a great outlet. We're not going to events. So people need stages. And lastly, you know, you think about that. How many podcasts have started since the pandemic? Right? So now there's 4 million podcasts in the world. So that really excites me. Now, there is, you know, four years ago there was like one or two logistics podcasts. Now there are hundreds. So if you were a logistics company CEO four years ago, if you said to me, oh, I want to do some podcasting. I would say there isn't much out there, start a podcast, but if you came to me today, I would say, don't start a podcast, guest on other people's podcast, build that up and then maybe a year down the line, start your podcast. But this is a great way to build yourself up first and to really understand what is going on in the world of logistics, what people are talking about. This is really exciting because the opportunities are huge. You know, there are millions of people who want to get out and share their message. And yet they're just kind of discovering what podcasts can do for them. 

Miko Santos 25:59

Yes. I'm very excited as well. So because guest podcasts is the thing to build your brand faster. So just like you as well, we do guest podcasts as well. So, what is your advice? My last question for you, if you have, say one billboard, what would you advise to our listener? 

Graham Brown 26:23

Right. So let me assume there's different types of listeners, if your listener was in the podcast business, right, so that group, and then I'll talk about people doing their own podcast. So to the people who are in the podcast business, my billboard would say, People don't have a podcast problem. And so let's stop selling podcasts because people don't buy podcasts. They buy what podcasts can do for them. And if we're buying, selling podcasts, we're operating right down the food chain, the lower end. You know, we need to be selling what those podcasts can do for people, thought leadership, brand awareness, brand authority, campaign awareness, etcetera, even internal communications, HR, L & D, what are all the functions that podcasts could provide in a business? That's the first billboard people don't have a podcast problem. The second part to everybody who is starting a podcast, or has a podcast, I would say, it's getting easier to produce and harder to promote. So let's stop focusing on the production side because it's getting easy. You've got tools, it's getting cheaper. There are a few barriers to entry. The key to success in your podcast, it's not the choice of microphone or you know, what platform I'm gonna use. It's how do I grow an audience? How do I build a community around my podcast? Because if you can do that, you can grow it. But if you can't, then you will struggle just to stand still with your audience numbers, because those are gonna go down over time. So to everybody out there, think about audience, it's everything. Think about who they are and think about why they will listen to you. What the pain points they have, that you are promising to solve by listening to this podcast. 

Miko Santos 28:23

Yes, and aside from that, you build your community. Because the podcast, if you have a podcast, you already have a community. So just put your community into a Facebook group so that you can communicate. Thank you for that Graham. If our listeners want to have a chat with you, want to connect with you online, where can they talk to you or chat with you?

Graham Brown 28:42 

If they are a corporate, go to the corporate agency, go to pikkal.com. P I K K A L.com. If you're interested in podcast guesting, go to podcastguesting.pro . My personal website is Grahamdbrown.com , which will link back to both of those. 

Miko Santos 29:02 

Thank you so much for that. So all the links will be on the show notes. So, just click the link and Graham is happy to have a chat with you. All right. Thank you so much for your time and see you again in two weeks time for another episode of That Podcast Exchange. See you again. Bye.

Miko Santos 29:22

Hello Humanista. Thank you again for spending your valuable time with me today. I through respect your time. If you enjoy this episode, be sure to subscribe so you'll be notified when a new episode is posted in the Apple podcast, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or via RSS. If you think others could benefit from listening, please share it on your socials and if you're a new listener, then thank you so much for checking out the show and don't forget, you can find all resources links at the show notes down below. Since you're listening to this, I can tell you that you truly are dedicated to making a podcast that is a game changer for you, your listener and scales, your influence and message to the masses. For that. I want to give you the art of podcasting course for free. To get that course, go to www.kangaroofern.com/freecourse again. If you like to support the podcast, head over to our patreon page and the link will be on our show notes. By the way, if you're looking to start your own podcast, our friend from Kangaroo Fern Media Lab can help you achieve that. Check the website at www.kangaroofern.com . And thank you for listening. This is Miko Santos. See you in two weeks time. Check out this trailer for the upcoming episode.

Speaker 31:10 

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About The Author Graham Brown

Graham Brown is the founder of Podcast Guesting Pro. Graham is a published author on the subject of Digital Communication and Personal Branding (Amazon titles include "Brand Love: How to Build a Brand Worth Talking About" and "Mobile Youth: Voices of the Connected Generation). He has produced, project managed and guested on over 2,000 podcast episodes.