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“Engage with your audience.” With Jason Hartman & Sean Castrina

The most important thing when starting a podcast or writing a book you need to know why you are doing this in the first place? What do you want your audience to gain from listening or reading what you have created? Finally, never stop marketing your content. You need to be an evangelist of your […]

The most important thing when starting a podcast or writing a book you need to know why you are doing this in the first place? What do you want your audience to gain from listening or reading what you have created? Finally, never stop marketing your content. You need to be an evangelist of your work.


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 Sean Castrina. Sean is an active business owner and serial entrepreneur. He started his first company at age 23 and has not stopped since. Sean started more than 15 successful companies ranging from retail, property management, and development, direct mail, digital marketing to home services. His first passion is business and he continues to start businesses each year. With this relevance, Sean can teach with authority on entrepreneurship. He is the author of multiple books and resources for business owners and entrepreneurs and his mission is to equip entrepreneurs for success. He has developed a podcast called the Ten Minute Entrepreneur as well as a vlog entitled Developing The Entrepreneur Within. He also hosts webinars and speaks at events relating to entrepreneurship.


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?

Iam a 25-year entrepreneur having started more than 20 companies as well as writing 3 books to help aspiring entrepreneurs. I got laid off from my dream job pretty much overnight 25 years ago which prompted my “Aha” moment that I would never be dependent on an employer for my, or my family’s, financial security.

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

The podcast extends your voice to those you will probably never meet, allowing your message to encourage, equip as well as educate people. I love getting emails every day from all over the world asking questions that, when you answer, help people.

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?

You think when you get started there will be an audience clamoring for your podcast and you realize there are thousands of podcasts and you are just one of them. My first month I had 11 downloads and I think they may have all been friends. I have taped podcasts that I did not have my microphone on as well as buying new microphones that had massive echoes that sounded horrible.

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

The podcast has just passed its second-anniversary airing just under 200 podcasts.

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

The 10 Minute Entrepreneur Podcast has a clear mission to equip, encourage and educate entrepreneurs.

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?

I had listened to countless podcasts and I started it the same way I start any new business: How will I be different from my competition?

I noticed 2 things about most shows: they had interviews which tended to be a hit or miss and you could only air as many shows as you could get guests, so I decided our format would only have guests occasionally. Finally, I found them to be too long for anyone who really had a life so I wanted to have a show that was quick and packed a punch, so the 10-minute format was my idea.

What makes me different as a host is I am an active entrepreneur and CEO, not someone who wrote a book and stopped doing what they actually wrote about. Too many authors write a book and the book and speaking become their business. My podcast reflects what I learn every day from actually owning and leading companies.

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?

Find a format that fits your style.My format has me teaching, not depending on guests. When I started I had 2 podcasts per week because I knew I could commit to that amount — don’t start by biting off more than you can chew.

What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?

I am an endless reader but it is owning multiple companies that I run or am a partner in that gives me endless content for the podcast.

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?

There are a few podcasts that set the standard and each have different styles from Gary V to Joe Rogan and Tim Ferris but, I would tell people they need to find their own lane.

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?

You start a podcast the same way you start a business. You create a business plan and the business, in this case, is launching a successful podcast.

See the answer to the next question which answers both.

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.)

Remember a podcast is much harder than a blog so you need to go into this with a detailed plan and a commitment, not something you randomly do when you feel like it. Your audience needs to know what they can expect from your podcast in terms of content, format, and consistency.

8 STEPS TO CREATING A SUCCESSFUL AND PROFITABLE PODCAST

1. Why are you creating this podcast in the first place? Your why needs to be strong enough to encourage you when you have very few downloads or are losing motivation.

2. What makes your podcast different from others in your category?

Like a new business, you need to differentiate yourself in some way so you stand out. My podcast had a teaching format instead of interviews. It would be 10 minutes long. These were my ways of differentiating myself from other podcasts in my lane.

3. Who will be your target audience?

This is the person most likely to be attracted by your message, content, and format. Don’t be foolish enough to think your podcast is for everyone even Oprah had a target audience.

4. Why should people listen to your podcast?

In the same way, a business plan asks why will customers buy what you are selling you need to ask the same question when starting a podcast. Why will people (target audience) listen to your podcast? You need to offer value (entertainment, education, encouragement, etc.) to your listeners. You should have a clear one-sentence Unique Selling Position. Example; My podcast was created so I could equip, encourage and educate aspiring as well as seasoned entrepreneurs.

5. Create a durable and sustainable podcast by having an area of content and format that you can consistently deliver on.

For example, interviewing famous people if you’re not a recognized podcaster would be a challenge as a format.

6. Market your podcast just like you would a new business. How will you get your target audience to know about and listen to your podcast?

7. Create continuous engagement via social media. Etc.with your audience to get their feedback and content requests.

8. Time to Monetize. When your audience reaches a number that is attractive to sponsors who want to reach your target audience. (yes that is why from the beginning you build an audience that others will want to reach)

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.)

  • Reach out to people regularly asking them to be on your show. It is the law of numbers if you ask 100 people each week through Linkedin, DM on Instagram and or emails you’re going to get guests
  • Create a method (email, social media, etc.) where your audience can effortlessly engage with you.
  • Consider hiring a P.R. firm to help you launch it.
  • Use a professional-grade microphone and have someone create a professional opening and or closing if needed. You need to get your audience’s attention in the first 10 seconds.
  • For someone looking to start their own podcast, which equipment would you recommend that they start with? Don’t buy a $20 microphone on amazon as I use a Sennheiser headset that I believe costs $50.

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 most important thing when starting a podcast or writing a book you need to know why you are doing this in the first place? What do you want your audience to gain from listening or reading what you have created? Finally, never stop marketing your content. You need to be an evangelist of your work.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram (@sean.castrina) or www.seancastrina.com

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