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“5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Podcast.” With Jason Hartman & Katie Thompson

The movement I would like to inspire would be to encourage more young people to become entrepreneurs. Not everyone is geared towards entrepreneurship or even wants to pursue it. However, there are so many great thinkers and go-getters out there that get burnt out, discouraged, and disillusioned by the “traditional” career path. I would love […]

The movement I would like to inspire would be to encourage more young people to become entrepreneurs. Not everyone is geared towards entrepreneurship or even wants to pursue it. However, there are so many great thinkers and go-getters out there that get burnt out, discouraged, and disillusioned by the “traditional” career path. I would love to encourage anyone who feels like they are made for more to pursue that passion and create a life for themselves that they love.


As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a very successful podcast”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Katie Thompson.

Katie is the founder of Modern Darling Media and the Host of The Hustlenomics Podcast. Modern Darling Media is a full-service branding, marketing & design agency for creative entrepreneurs who want to make a bold & meaningful impact. Katie helps build bold brands & craft strategic marketing campaigns that provoke emotion, have personality, and help build your tribe. Modern Darling Media’s goal is to make sure you communicate the right message, to the right people, on the right platforms.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you to this particular career path?

Myentrepreneurial journey started right after I graduated from grad school. I was super excited to get out in the world and find a cool job, work with fun, intelligent people my age, and make a difference in the world!

I was sorely disappointed when I got ghosted from hundreds of companies that I applied to, and the job offers I did get were underwhelming, to say the least. I ended up in a few jobs that didn’t challenge me creatively or intellectually, and I knew I was made for much more.

So, I started small with a photography business as a side hustle. I slowly grew, expanded my network and service offerings, and rebranded my business in 2018 to include marketing, branding, and design service for creative entrepreneurs.

I am super passionate about shaking up the status quo and finding ways to help others craft the life they want, not the life they are settling for. I do this through my podcast, where I interview female entrepreneurs about their journey to becoming business owners.

Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?

One of the most interesting things that has happened since I started the show has been interviewing women all over the world. Once my show started to gain traction, I started getting about 25–30 podcast interview requests a week. I was surprised to get emails from women all over the world, from England to Mexico to Croatia to Australia and many more palces that wanted to come on the show. I actually had to change a line in my intro from “hear from women all around the U.S” to “hear from women all around the world” because I had so many international guests!

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?

One mistake I made, in the beginning, had to do with my marketing strategy. It’s funny, because I own a marketing agency; however, marketing a podcast was new to me. I dropped my first few episodes, and I think the only people who downloaded them were my parents. You can’t just put a show out there and assume people will listen. You need to first make a show that you know people are looking for and then tell people about it! Share on social media, on your website, in your newsletter, or even print up flyers to hang up at your local coffee shop. The idea of “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply here. So, look for unique and creative ways to get your show out there.

How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?

I have been podcasting since June 2018 and I have aired 80 episodes.

What are the main takeaways, lessons or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?

I want my listeners to walk away with actionable tips, tricks, strategies, and advice that they can implement in their business today, or keep in the back of their mind for down the road. I also want them to gain insights about the mindset of an entrepreneur and how to train your mind to think differently when you go from an employee to a boss. My guests share about their mistakes and missteps and guide the listeners on how to not make those same mistakes. It’s all about paying it forward and sharing knowledge. If nothing else, I want them to walk away knowing that they are not alone, and other people are feeling what they are feeling.

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?

There are tons of podcasts out there about business. There are also a ton of podcasts that feature female entrepreneurs. My show is different because I interview women that are in all different stages of entrepreneurship, not just the ones who make 6 or 7 figures. I found that only hearing the success stories, while they are inspiring, left me feeling “less than” or overwhelmed. They were so much further along in business than me, and those imposter syndrome feelings would creep in. So, I share women’s stories that are raw, real, and show the different challenges and triumphs at ALL stages of owning a business. We focus on actionable tips, strategies, and lessons that anyone can implement in their business today!

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?

Batch working has worked really well for me. When I first started, I chose one day a week where I would record 4 or 5 episodes at one time. That way, I would have a month’s worth of content created in just a few hours. Now, since I have so many people requesting to be interviewed on the show, I record an episode every day during the week. The key to staying consistent is to batch work what you can and to create an editorial calendar. The more you plan, the more likely you’ll stick to what you set out to do!

What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?

I use Facebook Groups a lot to not only find guests but to also see the questions people might be asking. I joined a lot of entrepreneur groups and scrolled through to see what’s tripping people up? What are the major roadblocks? What questions are people asking over and over again? This gives me inspiration for what topics I want to cover as well as the types of guests that will bring the most value to my listeners.

Ok fantastic. Let’s now shift to the main questions of our discussion. Is there someone in the podcasting world who you think is a great model for how to run a really fantastic podcast?

I think Jenna Kutcher of the Goal Digger Podcast is a great role model! Her podcast inspired me early on in my entrepreneurial journey, and I really appreciate the production value as well as her openness on the show.

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?

I would say it’s a combination of thoughtful planning, communication with her audience, strategic growth, and relatability. You can tell that Jenna and her teams really put a lot of thought into the guests that she has on. Each guest brings something unique, and they always make sure to be inclusive and representative of everyone. Jenna’s team also does a great job of communicating with her audience. Within the Goal Digger Facebook Group, they ask for topic and guest recommendations and really take any feedback to heart. I also notice that they don’t promote products or brands that they don’t believe in just for a boost or for money. They are strategic about who they partner with and grow based on real recommendations and collaborations that they believe in.

You are a very successful podcaster yourself. Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast? (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)

  1. Know WHY you want to start a podcast: Be very intentional about why you want to start a show. Your answer will dictate a lot of how you set your show up and how you will move forward. For example, if you want to start a podcast to book more speaking engagements, you might do a solo show that highlights your speaking ability and expertise. If you want to expand your network and establish yourself and a thought leader, it might make sense to do a combination of a solo & interview show. This “why” will also keep you on track when making tough decisions down the road about which way you want to take your show.
  2. Do some market research: As I mentioned before, it’s important to know that what you’re putting out there is something people will actually want. Sure, you could do a show based solely on a very specific niche you’re interested in, however, if you’re trying to grow your business or your listenership, that’s not the best route. Make a list of possible show topics and ask your target listeners if it’s something they would listen to! They might even give you some ideas on how to make it even better!
  3. Don’t feel like you have to buy all the expensive equipment right off the bat: Sure, you can go out and buy the most expensive mic, headphones, and recording equipment, but, if you are new to podcasting and aren’t familiar with them, you’re just going to waste a lot of time and money. There are TONS of affordable (and free) options for starting a podcast that will still make your show sound great! In the beginning, invest more of your time and energy in the quality of your content, and if down the road, you want to purchase more expensive equipment, go for it!
  4. Outsource what you need to: We are not an expert at everything, and the truth is that you shouldn’t have to be. If you want to start a podcast and you know you can share great content, but you aren’t great at editing, then outsource it! If you know you HATE social media but still need to promote your show, outsource it! Don’t waste your time on things that are not in your zone of genius.
  5. Always keep learning: One great thing about the age we live in is that there are so many amazing resources out there that we can easily access to grow our expertise. From other podcasts to blogs to courses to books…you have a ton of information at your fingertips that can help make you a better podcaster. There is always something new to learn, so stay dedicated to seeking out that knowledge and getting a little bit better every day.

Can you share some insight from your experience about the best ways to: 1) book great guests; 2) increase listeners; 3) produce it in a professional way; 4) encourage engagement; and 5) the best way to monetize it? (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)

  1. A great way to book guests is through Facebook groups. Join a few that are related to your show topic and start reaching out to people. There are also Facebook groups solely dedicated to linking up podcasts host and potential podcast guests. You can also do a Google search for experts in your market and reach out over email. Make sure you have some information about your show (maybe a media kit) that gives them a description of what your podcast is about, possible topics, your listener demographic, etc.)
  2. To increase your listeners, share your podcast on every platform that you are on (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, newsletters, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) Share a short synopsis of the episode with a link to listen as well as any guests you feature. If you have guests on your show, encourage them to share the episode with their audience as well. You can also reach out to similar podcasts to do a “feature ad” swap where you both include a short promo of the other person’s show on your podcast.
  3. To produce your podcast professionally, make sure you always record in a quiet room with not a lot of background noise. Do some tests beforehand to make sure there’s not too much reverb. Wear headphones so that you can hear how the audio will actually sound and use an external mic to make sure your voice records clearly.
  4. To encourage engagement, ask questions! Include a question at the end of the episode and encourage people to respond on your podcast Facebook page or Instagram with their answers. Hold a giveaway where people can enter by subscribing or leaving a review. Encourage listeners to subscribe and share your show at the end of each episode or ask listeners to send in questions or stories that you might feature on the show.
  5. There are multiple ways you can monetize your podcast. Most advertisers are looking for a certain number of downloads per episode before they consider sponsorships; however, some brands don’t mind working with new shows. There are numerous platforms that connect podcasters with advertisers as well as hosting platforms that do the same. You can also reach out to brands yourself. Make sure you have a media kit or one sheet and focus on partnering with brands that make sense for your topic and audience.

For someone looking to start their own podcast, which equipment would you recommend that they start with?

Microphone:

  • Entry Level: Blue Snowball
  • High Level: Blue Yeti
  • PRO Level: Heil PR40

Pop Filters:

  • Entry Level:6-inch pop filter from Auphonix
  • High Level: Microphone Shock Mount
  • PRO Level: Aston Microphones SwiftShield Shockmount & Pop Filter

Recording/Editing Software:

  • Entre Level: Audacity or Garageband
  • High Level: Zencastr or Audacity
  • Pro Level: Adobe Audition

Headphones:

  • Entry Level: Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones
  • High Level: Sony MDR7506
  • Pro Level: Focal Spirit Professional

Ok. We are almost done. 🙂 Because of your position and work, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The movement I would like to inspire would be to encourage more young people to become entrepreneurs. Not everyone is geared towards entrepreneurship or even wants to pursue it. However, there are so many great thinkers and go-getters out there that get burnt out, discouraged, and disillusioned by the “traditional” career path. I would love to encourage anyone who feels like they are made for more to pursue that passion and create a life for themselves that they love.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can find me at www.moderndarlingmedia.com.

Thank you so much for sharing your time and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.

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