What Two Years of Podcasting Has Taught Me
It’s been just over two years since I started the Mortgage Marketing Expert podcast. It has been one of the most incredible experiences of my professional life. Our team has released 80 episodes, received nearly 100,000 listens and downloads, and participated in a dozen live events. I have created countless relationships and have learned so much about myself and my industry.
Two days after I posted the 2-Year announcement graphic on social media, a friend of mine sent me a text to say congratulations. After I thanked him, he asked a simple question that has been on my mind ever since. He said, “What have you learned?”
Anyone who is having any success in the mortgage and real estate industry is a go-giver – giving more in value than what they ask for in return. My entire podcast has been built on this concept. That is why our mission has always been simply to help people build their business and do mortgage marketing better. In that spirit, below is a list of 6 of the most powerful things that I have learned, or re-learned, while having my podcast over the last two years.
It’s still not too late to start. When I started my podcast there were less than five podcasts in the mortgage space. Now there are dozens. But if you ask someone who listens to podcasts regularly, they will gladly tell you that they don’t just listen to one or two. They subscribe to many of them. Half of the people in the US still have not listened to a podcast, and even those who do listen regularly may like yours better. Start a podcast that YOU want to listen to, and you will attract people like you to it.
Podcasters love to collaborate. As humans we all want to be a part of something. It’s why we join professional organizations, start random conversations with fans of the same sports team, and like to work with people who share common interests. Podcasters take this to another level. When you invite a guest to be on who also has their own podcast, that guest will nearly always invite to be on theirs too. We also share potential guests, equipment recommendations, and much that normal businesses never share. Podcasters understand that more is better. We aren’t each other’s competition; we are each other’s business development. If someone listens to my podcast and likes it, they will listen to others as well. The opposite can also be true, so podcasters love to help. And if you have a podcast, we will help you too.
Podcasting is one of the best ways to build a brand. Having a podcast will help grow your brand, build your reputation, and increase your influence. Simply being a podcast host creates the opportunity to define yourself as an expert. It also allows you to align with other experts and influencers in your space. Some of my best friends today are mortgage industry titans I had seen on stage years before that I invited to be guests. I knew having them on would add value to my audience, and that I would get an entire episode to learn as well. That 30 to 45-minute conversation laid the groundwork for relationships that typically lasted way beyond the interview. Jim Rohn says you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I have always tried to associate with people who stretch me and that I can learn from. This allowed me to not only grow and learn, but my brand, reputation, and influence also grew as a result.
You must ask the right questions. We all tend to thrive in settings that we are comfortable in. Being interviewed on a podcast is not always one of those places. Even an experienced speaker can get nervous in unfamiliar settings. My podcast format is designed to help guests talk about things they are familiar with first, like their background, before we get into the ‘meat’ of the conversation. Easy questions get people comfortable, and once they are comfortable they will share all kinds of wisdom. This is also how you create relationships. Not just with each other, but with your target audience or potential clients. Get to know them. Ask them easy questions about themselves. Just get them talking. Once you find out a little about them you can find their why. Once you understand their why, you can provide an incredible experience and keep that relationship for life.
Anything worthwhile takes work. And it takes a lot of work. Lewis Howes says that unless you can commit to one episode per week for two years then don’t start a podcast. After the last two straight years of podcasting, I both agree and disagree. I agree with him in principle that people shouldn’t start a podcast with the intention of doing it short term. You’ll waste more time and resources than you’ll get in return. I also agree that it takes about 20-25 episodes before you really start getting into a groove and figuring out who you are as a podcaster. If you start, stop and move on then you’ll lose credibility and it’s hard to win that back. Where I slightly depart with Lewis Howes’s statement really comes down to balance during that first two years. But that just happens to be my next point..
Give yourself permission to lose. About six or seven months into my podcast I was having a lot of difficulty, with everything. I was dealing with some work challenges, trying to juggle some family logistics, and my podcast was becoming more burden than fun. I was on my weekly coaching call complaining…discussing everything that I still needed to handle for the week before I could even think about getting a podcast episode done. He said, “Then just don’t release an episode this week.” What?! Honestly, that thought hadn’t really even crossed my mind. I felt like the world would come crashing down and all that work would have been for nothing. That the arbitrary deadline was my own creation. Sometimes it’s better to take the small losses in the short term, so that you have the strength to play and win the long game. Take the pressure off. Give yourself permission not to be perfect, because sometimes perfection is your biggest obstacle to being great!