Is it a little meta, to be on a podcast about marketing talking about podcasting as a marketing method? Or to be a guest on a podcast about marketing talking about being a podcast guest as a marketing method when your specialty is booking clients onto podcasts so they can make the method their marketing?
Whether it is or not, podcasts are still an amazing way to get exposure for your business, and that’s true whether you’re the guest, the host, or, occasionally, both.
So meet Brandy Whalen, co-Founder of Kitcaster, a company that helps people find guest spots on podcasts. They work with entrepreneurs, industry experts, and C-suite executives, finding them guest spots on the shows that speak to their audiences.
If you want to podcast like a pro, this is absolutely the episode you’ll wanna listen to. Meta or not, here we come.
- [1:59] The value of podcasts.
- [3:21] Developing a strategy for podcasting.
- [6:10] Helping clients set goals for podcasting.
- [8:44] Tips for being a great podcast guest.
- [11:20] How Kitcaster was born.
- [15:23] Work-life balance.
- [18:25] Setting boundaries with clients.
- [19:43] Brandy’s cause.
The Value of Podcasts
Brandy says the big value of podcasts is their ability to humanize the people behind the brands.
“As a society, we really want to know who we’re buying from. Who we are engaging with. Podcasts provide this really amazing platform to engage with the person behind a brand. You get to hear about their story, their struggles, their success, maybe some secret fact you didn’t know about before.
In general, it’s bringing people together in a very easy, conversational way, and humanizing folks behind the brand.”
Garrett also felt that resonated, saying:
“When I listen to a podcast, or when we’re on social media in any capacity, when you hear someone’s voice and you hear their thoughts and feelings and you identify with that person, you get them a little bit more. You feel like all of the sudden they’re becoming your friend.”
Developing a Strategy for Podcasting
“It’s important to get your voice out there and heard,” says Brandy. “Especially if you have a different perspective or if you’re doing things a little differently. Get exposure and connect through other folk’s podcasts, but then think about how you can create your own voice with your own agency.”She stresses that you do need a strategy for doing that, however.
“Is your strategy to highlight your company culture? Is your strategy to try and gain more clients? Maybe you want to invite guests on who could potentially work with you? I think both those avenues would be really fantastic for any agency to pursue.”She really stresses the importance of being intentional, here.
“It’s a lot of work, producing a show. Have a plan in place. Know what you want out of it. It takes a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of money to do it right.”She notes that being a guest is a great way to dip a toe into whether or not you think it would be worth it to pursue podcasting as an agency.
“Maybe try to be a guest on a couple of podcasts first before launching into producing your own.”
Helping Clients Set Goals for Podcasting
When Brandy is about to help someone find a spot, there’s a process that she and her team go through.
“We always do a discovery call where we’re really diving into what your goals are and figuring out: Do you have an industry you like to play in? What’s your strategy? How are you delivering your services?
And really we always try to dig in a little bit deeper, because yes you get to talk about your agency, but really people want to hear about you.
So what’s your story?”
What kinds of things should go into telling that story?
“Do you have a hobby? Is there anything you do in the community? Do you have a passion? Develop a human story.
You know it’s not really fun to listen to a podcast that’s just a 30-minute advertisement about how great your product or service is. Build this whole picture, a story of a human, which we all have. Sometimes it just takes a little more work to pull it out of people.”
She says Kitcaster does offer media training to people who are going to be podcast guests.
Tips for Being a Great Podcast Guest
In addition to being human, Brandy suggests a few more things.
“I think statistics are always really interesting. If you’re able to bring in some stats around different points you’re trying to make. Conversation flow. A lot of these interviews are long. Figuring out ways to pull back the direction a conversation is going in, bridging techniques. Also, when you listen to yourself, we all use crutch words.”
What kinds of crutch words?
“I say ‘like’ all the time. So be mindful of that.”
She also says that podcast guests should try to master the technique of pausing.
“Pause for a minute. Let folks ask a question. Then answer.”
Finally, she offers insights into how to interact with hosts.
“This is a relationship. We’re going to have a 30-minute conversation today. Ask the host: how can I promote you? How can I help you? Maybe there’s a collaboration. Maybe you’re in the same industry and there are ways you can come together on a project.
Not only are you able to find exposure through the host’s network, but it’s great to have that host relationship.”
How Kitcaster was Born
Brandy originally had a traditional PR agency.
“I’ve always been a fan of talk radio, even when I was young. When podcasts became popular I was like: this is just talk radio everyone, this is amazing. Using podcasts as a means to get some of my PR clients more thought leadership visibility, and hearing their feedback: That was so fun! I loved that! That was a great conversation!
They would just light up and be energized. Then, just what they were able to do with that content beyond sharing it on their LinkedIn. Transcribing the interview into a blog and giving attribution to the podcast and the host. Being able to work in so many different layers.”
The growth and popularity of podcasts made her and her co-founder decide to just jump into the world of podcasting, staying solely in that lane.
“We just kind of threw that out there to a couple of people, did some beta testing. It just caught fire, especially when the pandemic hit. In-person engagements went away overnight. That helped accelerate our business, that transition from how companies and individuals were thinking about how they were going to get in front of their folks.”
Women are leaving the workforce in record numbers right now, in part because companies are not doing a good job of promoting work-life balance.
“I have work hours. I have home hours. And my home hours are zero technology. Phone away. Anything that could cause me any distractions.”
She has encouraged her entire team to set the same boundaries.
“We work 9-5. I want everyone to have that, especially when we’re working from home. You have to make sure you protect your time and yourself. So, that is across the board with our company. There are no podcast emergencies.”
She laughs because people think there are.
“Being an agency, sometimes it feels like there’s an emergency, but ultimately we’re not saving lives here. We’re facilitating amazing conversation. If someone does message me I’m automatically like: what are you doing right now? You should be on a walk.”
She says that clients do appreciate the transparency and the setting of expectations in advance.
“Of course you’re going to have clients who are working at 2 AM and sending you things, and that’s just the way it’s going to be, but as long as they know where our boundaries lie, then it hasn’t, thus far, been an issue. I think it’s really important, especially now, to make sure that you’ve established a time for work, and a time to be home.”
What’s your right now cause?
Brandy is in Denver, CO, and like many other cities, homelessness in Denver is at record highs.
Brandy and her family support an organization called Joshua Station.
“They help families transition out of homelessness. The really cool thing about it is they give time. It takes time to rebuild yourself, and Joshua Station allows for up to three years to really get people back up on their feet and support them in a positive way.”