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“I LOVE making people laugh and get excited about the business.” With Jason Hartman & Liz Theresa

I LOVE making people laugh and get excited about the business. I want people to be inspired by my show — not bored. Too many business shows are so information-heavy that I need a stiff drink after listening. My show is breezier, funnier, and way more meaningful. But, of course, I’m biased. As part of […]

I LOVE making people laugh and get excited about the business. I want people to be inspired by my show — not bored. Too many business shows are so information-heavy that I need a stiff drink after listening. My show is breezier, funnier, and way more meaningful. But, of course, I’m biased.


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 Liz Theresa.

Liz Theresa, business mentor and founder of LizTheresa.com, has been helping entrepreneurs find clarity and uniquely market themselves with confidence for the past 9 years through her business mentorship and website design programs. She wants every entrepreneur to rise and be the star of their own business. She’s also the creator of Concept to Creation™, her flagship branding, and web design program, and the host of the Forbes acclaimed podcast Liz on Biz.


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?

Certainly! I love telling this story. I grew up in a small town south of Boston — and I knew nothing about business. I had absolutely no interest in business, entrepreneurship, or marketing — even though I absolutely love what I do right now.

I’d wanted to become an actor so all of my energy was expended at rehearsals night after night. I even minored in theatre. It took interning at a casting studio in New York City that convinced me the entertainment business — and acting, in general, was a series of moments strung together by a desire to have you’re worth be accepted and determined by someone else (casting agents and directors.) It was then I decided I wanted to be in charge of how successful I was, so I switched gears.

I didn’t know business was my answer until I was midway through my Master’s degree in English at Bridgewater State University. It was there I discovered online marketing and soaked up everything I could about it. I also used to make websites for fun — so there you have it!

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

OH! Good one. I have been connected to dozens (maybe hundreds now?) of different professionals in a variety of industries. I’ve made some incredible friendships — and one of the coolest things to come of it is that one of my guests, Gerri Detweiler, a writer for Forbes decided to feature me in a very flattering piece. She named my show Liz on Biz (see www.lizonbiz.com) one of the top 12 small business podcasts that help you sell more. I found this out days before I had a baby — so it was like the best baby gift of all time.

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?

YES! That you shouldn’t accept everyone who wants to come on the show. Not everyone is great at being interviewed — and some of my guests lacked personality. Or if they had personality — sometimes, I hated them. I remember I had a guest once insult me. He told me I used a word improperly during the recording.

His episode file corrupted. Mysterious. 😉 Things happen.

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

Since 2016! My podcast Liz on Biz debuted election day — which I weirdly thought would not be controversial. Oops.

To date, we’ve aired over 170 episodes.

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

I LOVE making people laugh and get excited about the business. I want people to be inspired by my show — not bored. Too many business shows are so information-heavy that I need a stiff drink after listening. My show is breezier, funnier, and way more meaningful. But, of course, I’m biased.

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?

Oh man — I may have already answered this by accident. My show is so special because, with my many years of doing this, I’ve found my voice and my groove. Even my intro to my show explains this nicely, “Welcome to Liz on Biz where the guests are barely prepped and I’m barely ready.” It’s funny, sure, but it also captures the glib-ness and the improvisational nature of how my show flows. I think this lightness is why my show is so successful.

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?

I think podcasting is not for everyone. I have a blog about this on my site for anyone who wants to hunt it down. Every type of content marketing isn’t right for every person. Being consistent at podcasting is easier if you’re more naturally inclined to be good at podcasting — because you’ll enjoy it more.

I like to say — if you’re a talker and fun at parties, you’ll have a better time podcasting than the next person.

What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?

Comedy shows! Who needs another business podcast with lessons about how to write an effective sales page or how to convert more clients?! All shows will tell you that. Shows tell you that — and so do blogs. The entire Internet can tell you how to make more money. I want people to feel something — so I love to listen to shows like My Favorite Murder — because they’re natural, free-flowing, and funny as hell.

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?

Love this! I admire Farnoosh Torabi and her show So Money. I have mad respect for Farnoosh as a fellow tenacious woman in business as well. You can’t succeed in this stuff without the tenacity. She knows her stuff and she structures her show like a true professional.

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?

Consistency is the biggest ingredient because it tends to be where budding podcaster fail the hardest. For instance, my show comes out on Monday. And it’s like this — the first time you miss a Monday will be the last time you miss a Monday because you’ll either quit podcasting altogether — or you’ll never ever let it happen again.

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.)

Oh — you make me blush. 5 things, huh? Well, I guess I want to repeat myself to engrain the importance of not missing your own show.

SET A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT

The first time you “miss a Monday” so to speak should be your last. It’s the day you realize you’re not cut out for podcasting or it’s the day you realize you can’t miss Mondays. For me, I missed a Monday because I simply missed it. I made an error and didn’t have an episode. So, I recorded and published an episode in one day because my audience needed it. In fact, one of my listeners was in my network and privately messaged me to ask where Liz on Biz was. That’s when I knew this was something I couldn’t miss again — and that I had to make it a priority. And I’ve never missed a Monday since.

LISTEN TO YOUR OWN SHOW

It’s cute you want to be on iTunes. I admit — I get mega excited when I listen to my own show. Maybe that should be another tip — try listening to your own show. If you’re bored, you’re not doing enough to make it great. I remember listening to my own show and wishing I was listening to music instead. Eek. Bad episode. These things happen. Not every show will be perfect, but once you find your mistakes, you’re able to learn from them.

KNOW YOUR WHY

Determining why you’re doing this and being clear about that will help you stay consistent — because you’ll know your show has a purpose. Your show’s purpose is often the cousin of your unique selling proposition, right? What makes your show special? Your why is often the answer to that question. I remember when I came out with Liz on Biz, one of my deep-thinking clients said she loved the show, but asked me why I was doing it. I told her — because it’s fun? And she goes — please go deeper. And, we did that together. It’s a difficult answer to arrive at on your own, but it’s important you do.

MAKE YOUR GUESTS DO THE HUSTLE

Not the funny dance, but they should hustle to promote your show because you allowed them to share the mic with you. They get exposure to your audience — so you’re crazy to not make them do stuff. I’ve requested that all my guests listen before they come on the show and leave a review. It’s the right thing to do! Additionally, I provide all my guests materials with which they can go promote. I write all their marketing copy to do that (called “swipe copy”) and I create images for them to use on social media. Set your guests up for success and they’ll do the same for you.

DON’T CHARGE YOUR GUESTS FOR COMING ON THE SHOW

I once had a PR person ask me how much it cost to come on my show. And then I was like, “What? How much does it cost for me to produce my show?” And she insisted on paying me to have her clients come on. I advised her that they’re welcome to apply, but that I don’t let people come on my show just because they have a checkbook. If you have a pay to play show, it’s up to you — but if you do that, be transparent that guests pay to come on — because you have a thirty minute advertisement. Not a show. Shows like this aren’t horrible and can be fun, but you can’t mix paid guests with guests who deserve to join you because they’re great. It can ruin the integrity of what you’re doing.

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) In my experience, the best guests are the ones who can’t afford an agent. They’re the ones telling me a moving story about themselves that they’d like my audience to hear. They’re also the ones telling me they’ve genuinely listened to my show before — which is how they found me. I love choosing guests, as well, who tell me in advance they’re going to share my show with their audience. You don’t want a bad guest because it can suck the energy out of the show and make for a terrible episode. I’ve had it happen. Don’t let it happen to you.

2) To increase listenership, promote your own show. It’s not enough to be in iTunes or Spotify — — where can you step up your own marketing to boost listenership? Are you sharing enough on social media? Are you promoting each episode in your newsletter? Use this stuff! Often times people complain no one is listening to their podcast, and they’ll be barely telling people to. Crazy! You have to market yourself and show up to ask people to listen.

3) To produce your show professionally, I highly recommend hiring someone to edit it. I use an amazing guy named Tom who used to edit audio for HBO shows. Worth every penny to make myself sound better. A great mic and headphones will get you halfway there, but definitely worth outsourcing your editing if your show takes off and gains traction.

4) I think by posting your show on social media, it encourages more engagement. I also have a Facebook Group where we have high engagement around business and entrepreneurial topics. The podcast has been popular there — — and a lot of successful shows have also used Facebook groups to gain more listeners.

5) Sponsorships. Don’t charge guests to join you — I just don’t like it. If I ever pursue that model, it’ll be extremely obvious by how I brand the show. But sponsorships are a fun way to monetize your show. Especially if you are a niche podcast, reach for the low hanging sponsors first before you go for the big boys. You’ll want to have some smaller sponsors under your belt before AMEX is knocking on your door.

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

Laptop. Corded headphones. I use Bose Noise Canceling Headphones for recordings and a Snowball microphone. Love my equipment — and there’s a lot out there.

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. 🙂

It’s my mission to help entrepreneurs rise and be the stars of their own business. My podcast is part of that mission. People need to reconnect and remember their personal power in order to succeed in business. Playing it safe or hiding is never an option — — it’s an idea very much connected to being the star of your own life. Show up. Do the thing. Be the person you know you can be. Serve the people. They need you.

How can our readers follow you online?

ANYWHERE @liztheresa — I’m on Instagram the absolute most. You can also visit liztheresa.com.

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

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