Share the podcast in every way possible. You’ll want to be sure to market the podcast on all your social handles, email, and all other traditional channels, but the most important tactic is to ensure your surrounded by advocates. Emphasize the importance of your followers sharing each episode on their own social handles, or even updating their email signature to include a link to the latest episode.
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 Chris Pallatroni.
For over 15 years, Chris Pallatroni has been a leading factor in the success of Modernize Home Services. As co-founder, Chris has developed & continues to lead many of the businesses core competencies and growth strategies. With a powerhouse mindset, Chris drives both professional and personal growth for the entire Modernize organization. Chris also serves as the co-host of Modernize’s Built Better podcast geared toward home improvement contractors.
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?
When I was in college, I was majoring in economics and finance, however I felt like something was missing. While I was in college, I found an internship where I eventually met Gabe Luna and Jason Polka (now, CEO of Modernize). The internship, which was part of a painting business, lasted anywhere from 6–12 months, and it is where I learned how to run programs, generate leads, how business owners ran their territories, and essentially, how the construction business worked. After my internship Gabe Luna and Jason Polka asked me to join their team in starting Modernize. I became a Cofounder at Modernize in 2005.
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
I would say that the most interesting thing that has happened to me since I started podcasting, was my overestimated assumptions about podcasting. I assumed that podcasting was complicated, but when we started the Built Better podcast, it actually surprised me how effortless it was. Our podcast is built on team effort, and a divide and conquer mindset. When we launched our first episode, we just ran with it, and everything seemed to fall into place.
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?
We started our podcast last year during COVID, so we didn’t have the luxury of starting our podcast in-person. It was difficult implementing the fluidity of conversation. It was hard to pick up ques of when Dom, our host, or I were going to talk, and it led to us talking over one another, with awkward silent pauses in between. With a virtual podcast, it didn’t occur to us right away that we needed a method to have organic conversation. But eventually we implemented a muting and unmuting strategy. The biggest takeaway I learned and that I can give is that you are going to be clunky in anything you do. You will not be good at certain things until you practice them. As they say, we must embrace the suck. And most of all, be humble.
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
I’ve only done the Built Better podcast, and we have aired 7 episodes so far.
What are the main takeaways, lessons or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?
The biggest takeaway I want our listeners to walk away with is to understand that we are trying to add elements of perspective and thought leadership to the industry. All companies are going through the same thing, and we want to share some of that thought leadership. We want people to know that there are many businesses out there that are going through the same thing they are, and with this podcast, we want to allow our listeners to learn from their peers by giving them access to a likeminded community.
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 spirit of our podcast is asking ourselves how can we present ourselves as more than just a lead company. We offer so much value, and we are talking with people who have tremendous knowledge in the industry and sharing their knowledge with others is incredibly valuable. We do not see through the lense of why we are unique, rather we see through the perspective of continuously asking ourselves how can we add more value than just selling leads? Our guests are special because they are extremely experienced. More than that we bring the perspective of the biggest and the best companies to the table.
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?
Maybe we got lucky, but we have such a good team. We have six or so main people working this podcast, which naturally diffuses the workload. We are like a village. Everyone is doing the part they love to do, which makes this a more natural podcast. When you do the things you love, it becomes natural. If you can get people to do the things they love, you will experience less burnout.
What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?
I read a lot; and I care a lot about helping and servicing other people with excellence. That being said, I get a lot of my inspiration by simply reading books that are about leadership and culture, as well as, personal development. Further, I pair my core values that I live by to create my materials. Some of the core values I live by are merely asking myself, how do I add more value to other people? How do I make the topic I want to talk about, meaningful, and easy to understand?
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?
Tom Bilyeu, host of Impact Theory. He brings the most creative minds in the world to the stage. He also does by far the most amazing introduction and conversation with his guests. Each episode he airs, he is striving to add value to someone’s life.
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?
Simply start with a good reason of why you wanted to do the podcast in the first place. The secret of success is to do things that get you going, things that keep you up late at night. Essentially, have a good reason to do it. Once you figured out your reason for creating a podcast, go back to figuring out who are going to play the roles in your podcast production. For example, who will be the moderator who controls the show and navigates the guest? Who will be the content creator and marketer of the whole podcast? Who will bring a unique perspective?
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.)
- Start with why. What is your intent? What is the goal and feeling you want your guest to walk away with?
- Be methodical. What are topics relative to your audience? Create a content calendar. Start off with a general goal.
- Find the people inside or outside the organization that would service those individual roles.
- Throw yourself in it. You are going to start off clunky, but that’s okay. Just run with it and go with the flow of things. Don’t overthink it.
- Refine steps one through four.
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 (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)
- Booking great guests is a village activity. We meet with the sales team and account managers to figure out who would be a great personality and offer unique insight. There are times where our sales team brings us a trending topic that keeps surfacing while they’re speaking to leaders in the industry, so that becomes our queue to search for the right guest to highlight their expertise on that specific topic.
- Share the podcast in every way possible. You’ll want to be sure to market the podcast on all your social handles, email, and all other traditional channels, but the most important tactic is to ensure your surrounded by advocates. Emphasize the importance of your followers sharing each episode on their own social handles, or even updating their email signature to include a link to the latest episode.
- I think we’ll never stop wanting to raise the bar after each episode, but it comes down to ensuring that you’re laying down the right expectations for each guest that is featured. You don’t want someone to join a recording and feel lost the entire time, so we do are best to ensure that our guest speaker knows exactly what’s to come every step of the way. This includes things like prep calls, outline reviews, and consistent communication throughout the entire process.
For someone looking to start their own podcast, which equipment would you recommend that they start with?
Blue Yeti microphone.
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. 😊
While my profession is Modernize, my passion is development of people. Fortunately, my passion crosses with my profession, which is to help people become their best. My role is to help people tap into their goals and provide as many resources as possible. My wish for the world is to help change the way people interact with each other and to aspire to living an amazing life. To have people let go of their fears. Be like kids and have fun. I want people to have an amazing life, and in a way, my role allows me to be a champion of people — and our podcast is a small representation of that. By helping people have a better life by providing thought leadership and expanded perspective as it relates to their business, and ultimately leading a fulfilling life.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing your time and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.