Interview with Guest Srini Rao
Last thing what we really went into the wise and really the power of a podcast for your business or for your creativity outlet to reach masses with your message. So now what we want to go into is really what makes up a world class podcast and really, what goes into that? And then we're going to go into more about your listener avatar, which is exactly the client prospect listener that you want to be tuning into your show so you could get the results you're looking for with your podcast, but what I'm really excited about. First, I'm going to bring on a world class podcast expert and his name's sri knee row. He is absolutely fine, fantastic at what he does. He's actually built a huge community based off of his block talk radio show, but actually what he's turned it into is the unmistakable creative podcast, which is brand new podcast it's rocking it and it's all about creative entrepreneurs were going talk a little bit more about that, but what's great with sri knee is he truly has creat...
ed a very unique niche with this podcast and any interviews specific. Gas on his podcast and he does a lot of research to find the right ones so that his listeners really tune in and love that about him so we're going to be bringing him on hearing a skype interview or we're going to talk about really howto launch that world class studying for your podcast and really how to interview experts how to get the experts that you want on your podcast to say yes and he's going to share some of his tibbetts and really key strategies of how to actually get the most out of your guests and really create that world class experience with a podcast so sri how are you? Excellent we're so excited to have you here yeah so what I'd love for you to just to talk about is really first why you launched a podcast and they were going to go into more about how to make a world class podcast but I want you to talk about kind of what you've created with your tribe and why you launched your podcast to start yeah, you know I think that my story is somewhat accidental inorganic because I didn't start out with the intention of creating a podcast fact I barely listen to pipe test which is ironic I realized but uh you know I was in this course called log master mai and one of the lessons in it wass to interview people bear in mind this was four, four and a half years ago at this point. And so, rather than just interviewed people, you know, the suggestion was interview somebody is a good way to get traffic to your block. It was one of the techniques, so I took that and I thought, okay, well, this is cool. And instead of interviewing one person, I basically turned it into a weekly siri's. And I think after about thirteen interview somebody came back to me out of out of one of those interviews and said that I should take it out spin another is a separate site and that's how I started. So, you know, I'm definitely not where I plan to be with it. I had no idea that it would turn into what it has. Yeah, that's, what's really exciting about the power of podcasts. Lets talk about what goes into making a world class podcast. What are probably the five tips that you can share with everyone on really to make your podcast stand out with everybody launching podcast right now? Yeah, see that's, that's a really, really tough question I think that, you know, you mentioned standing out, and I think that this is, you know, you hit one of my personal hot button. Is because I think that it's really tempting to look at what other people are doing, and and just copy it, I mean, you can't put a different face on something and have it be the exact same thing and have it be distinctive. Um, I think that part of what allows you to stand out one is this style, one of the things that I think has been left out of the business podcasting conversation is this concept of entertainment, I think that we we have to look at audio very differently than we look at any other form of content, because at the end of the day, it is a form of entertainment, and if you're boring, there's, just no amount of, you know, good information can overcome. I mean, you could sit there and spout off fantastic information, but if you are not dynamic, if you're not entertaining, you're going to lose the audience. It doesn't, you know, that there's, this that's all there is to it because people have really short attention spans, I think you know, another thing. One of the things I think is very, very different for me, is that I really have have approached this work as an artist more than an entrepreneur, because if you think about you know, artists they looked at everything as an entire body of work it's like what's going to be your legacy when you're done not you know, what does this one hit wonder that I'm going to create or you know I'm not going to create you know, one episode and it's going to just blow up but as you know whole let's let's use a band for example, right? Like you two have spend decades on and multiple generations and and you know what? What makes that happen e think that we have to look it look at things like that I think that one of the big things that really traps us it hurts us is that we live in somewhat of an incestuous ecosystem off, you know, internet entrepreneurs and I think that when we look outside of the ecosystem and we look at artists, we look at musicians we look at people who have made movies and we look at entertainers, I think it gives us a perspective that honestly is quite refreshing and one that's very needed. I mean, obviously if somebody like you too has spanned decades of being popular there's something to be learned from that you know what? What makes something timeless? And I think that for me, my focus really has has shifted from, you know, sort of the business how to but I'm a storyteller and I think that that's what has helped me create a world class podcast if we want to go specifics in terms of tactical stuff I mean, I think that you you want here's one thing I hope people will consider I think that the interview based format is the default for most people and I think that it shouldn't be I think that if you look at the most popular podcast on itunes like you look at the radio labs the freakonomics you you know, the job of some they're all storytelling podcasts like they're entertaining they create very unique, compelling content it's not two people talking to each other, you know? And I think that we default to the interview because that's what we see working for everybody else or well that's what we see everybody else doing and I think that's the other thing that if you really want to stand out I think you've got to go do something that is actually distinctive that's you know, again I think that it's it's very tempting toe look at what has worked and try to copy it and you know, and I've written about this I think that we have a mimicry epidemic on our hands on it it's it's you know, it's unfortunate, but I think that what is happening is that people are not trusting their own intuition and their own instinct I mean my you know, my advice is is, again, look, look, teo influence is outside of your industry, the outside of the genres, I mean, look to influences that have nothing to do with what you're trying to do is as counter intuitive as that might seem, because those will spark insights that, uh, that you just don't get any well, so in terms of production quality, there's one thing that I will say that I think that is not really said and maybe, you know, might not be taken well, it's, that I am ruthless when it comes to my standards, I mean, I will turn down incredibly well known people if I don't think they can bring it, and I'll scrap an interview in the middle of it, I don't care because honestly, the end of the day, you know, I think that what your responsibility is if we're talking about, you know, podcast specifically as a world class podcaster, your responsibility is not tow waste people's time and when people put you in their ear buds, you want that to be one of the most compelling hours of their day. And if I listen to something that I've done and I feel like it's not going to be I don't even publish it, and I don't have a problem telling somebody that, and then of course, I think that you're you're filtering process for how you choose your guests, I think that's something, I think that that in and of itself is an art and one that honestly, I think that people just say, oh, you know, and you could anybody will say yes to an interview, and I'll admit I started out with that sort of mindset to and of course, that time evolves, but I think that that to me that approach is how you create water down, uh, mediocre art, yeah, now and I love I love that perspective because one looking toe outside industries to come bring in it's so powerful because it really gives you a different perspective on what's, working in different areas to make it unique to make it stand out and also adding on t interview, I know you and I have gone back and forth on this, so I used to do a lot of research before I bring interview gaston, you do a lot of research before you even bring that gaston to decide on who you want actually, you know, come into your network's I'd love for you to talk about that and how you pick the right guests for for your podcast yeah, you know, it's funny, my research process is it's a little weird because I don't do much other than read somebody's about paige, but I'll tell you what my research process is. Really, it comes down to this a mite iria, you know, and that's why people always say, how do I become a guest on your show? What's the formula. And I always say, well, I have to be true, so I don't know that there's a formula for my curiosity. Yeah, it's true, you know, I mean, and then then, of course, I'm I'm of the belief that too much research actually kills your creativity in the process of a conversation. Because then what happens is you show up very sort of rehearsed and scripted, and the conversation loses its authenticity. I mean, to me, I want the experience that somebody has when they're listening to what I do to feel like they're sitting down is dropping on a conversation that's happening in a coffee shop between two people that is just fascinating, you know, you know, I mean like chris, you and I don't sit down together at, you know, conference and say, ok, chris, the first question I have for you is the second question I have for you is like, I don't have a list of questions that I'm going to ask you when we meet, and I never have a list of questions for my guests. I mean, I kind of have a an idea of where I want to take it, and I think, you know, you mentioned earlier before we're officially live here that I'm a surfer on dh, so I think the analogy I always liken it to is a wave, right? You know, when you write a wave, you right, parallel and it has sections and you keep adjusting to whatever the wave is doing, and I think a conversation with somebody is is exactly like that, right? And we're going to talk about howto we've that in for especially if you are new to interviewing and how to do that, how to weave that and where you could bring your personality and still have a format, so you feel comfortable. But one thing I want you to talk about, trini, is you just recently switched brandy with your podcasts, and we've had some guests that have asked about that they've had a podcast for quite a few years. And now they've got a great audience and now they're switching so I want you to talk one why you switched your brandy and then to the transition how did you how did you make that transition for your audience? Yeah, well, I mean the why it's funny because those two things are actually tied together the y in the transition for the audience why is is for a number of reasons I mean, you know, the show was called blood cast fm for four years, but the reality is that probably mid two thousand thirteen it was pretty clear that this was not just a show about blogging I mean, I was interviewing happiness researchers I was interviewing ex cons I was, you know, interviewed your world famous cartoonist like scott adams and what was becoming a parent was that wait a minute, this is show this is a show about creative people who are doing remarkable things and the name blonde cast fm really doesn't do them justice, it doesn't do our guest justice and then, you know, if you look at what the listener feedback was, it was this is not just a show about blogging, so you had to think I mean, the amount of people, the number of people in our audience who would show up who had nothing to do with logs but just found the show interesting was quite significant and so when we thought we knew and we look at that we said ok, well then how many more of those people are there out there that we're not connecting with because of the way we're branded I mean, guests were turning us down saying, you know, well, that sounds nice but I don't want to do it because I'm not really a blogger uh just what was you know, we were where are content was that where audiences that was missed smashed with where the brand was that so that was the real motivation for for the rebranding and the clearest indication of the fact that it was actually the right move was the day that the new site launched ah, we got an insane amount of people who replied email doesn't said thank god I have been waiting to tell all my non blogger friends about this and now they'll finally listen so I I don't think that you need any more of a testimonial for that. You know, I don't think you get our listeners to to make that conversion I mean the listeners were already ahead of where we were at, you know, and their their minds they had they had already decided that's what this is about and you know, I think that the other thing is that, you know, we we just we wanted to push the envelope in terms of our caliber of what we created, what we stood for and that that's where the ruthless standard comes from I mean we we pushed e I mean, anybody who has worked with us are any of our creative teams like you know, our artists are steenland you know, our friend mars dorian even a lot of them are doing artwork for our upcoming event and I mean even the videographers I mean, they know it's it's a standard that is incredibly impeccable and and we push them you know, there's actually a funny cartoon somewhere on the web titled the unmistakable creative redesign aftermath and it's like the developer you know, and the two artists lying on top of each other throwing up because we pushed them really hard on you know we're really lucky that they're great friends of ours, so I'm sure they would have told us to go to help considering the request that we put in I mean, we're like last minute requests for everything but part of it is that when you look at something and you know you skimped yeah, maybe nobody else will notice but you know you will you know, you like it's it's and I think that that's standard is, uh, it's something that just keeps getting higher and higher and and where I'm just not satisfied like I go back and I listen to every single episode I figure out why what I didn't like about it you know I tried to tear it apart I think about you know what questions I would have asked differently I look att try to listen for threads that I didn't pick up on uh and I think that that's that's really what it is it's it's about continually refining what you're doing and and also saying you know what you like I think that if you know something could be better or you know I mean of course every time you do something it can always be better but like if you know you skimped on something that I think is really that's insidious because it can become a habit right and one of the things to that we were talking about earlier you know just getting out there like what sri needed they launched and they still evolved it's still a work in progress it's still evolving and he's still tweaking and adding as we go and so it doesn't have to be all perfect and set up just getting out there and then going back and refining like he's talking about us so powerful so what were what were your tips though for on making that transition did you let your audience know how did you make that way we really didn't we we actually so there's a couple of things that were happening I mean we sat down and I get a new business partner about six months ago uh, who came in? He took an equity stake and he's been an advisor and a mentor to me. He was a former guest on the show, and I mean, he told me right then he said, I think we need to talk about rebranding the show. So it was a six month process because this was a big rebranding. You got to realize that, you know, are, you know, do it like rebuilding our site with an entirely new brand is not a simple endeavor because there are already four hundred episodes in the archives, so we had to transfer all of that stuff over we really? I mean, if you go to the unmistakable creative, you'll see it's probably one of the cleanest sort of podcast designs. That way we came and we said, okay, what is the actual purpose? Like, what are our goals here? We never way sort of sat down, we said, what do we want people to do when they get here? And I don't know the first thing about, you know, design, but what I did know was that you know what? What should drive the design of something like that is, you know, what you want the users to do and our first thought was, well, the first thing we want somebody to do is listen to a podcast if you go to the unmistakable creative you scroll right down below the logo the first thing you see is in a giant, you know, uh, your panel, you can press play and and and so that was really it was ok, we want them to browse the archives and we want them to to sign up for newsletter and that was, you know, it was like three things, and, um, I think that that that was really sort of the driving force. It really, you know, the process of a transition really depends on how far down the path you are ours had to be well planned and well orchestrated. And you know what? There are still things that went wrong. I mean, we were very close to not making the deadline of launching on january sixth. Ah, you know, there's an insane amount of project management that goes into it. It really, really depends on how complex your situation is. I think you need to really figure out can you do it? Peace, mil? Yeah, I I personally I mean, we just gutted what was there and came out with something that I think really for yeah, I mean, I think this is something of all the work I've done when I looked at it, I was like that's pretty awesome. Yeah. Uh, you know, the first time I saw it when it was finished, I thought way have we have put it all on the table like we have really poured our hearts into this and I think that that's really key, you know, you talk about standing out, I think that that's that's, one of the things that allows it to stand out the way it does is that there is nothing like it. I mean, it is unmistakable, and that was the goal was like, okay, that's, everything we do has to scream that, uh, you know, you go to our about paige there's no text there it's a cartoon, right? You know, I mean, everything we did, we just way changed everything about, like we didn't look to the online world. We said let's, come up with ideas that nobody would ever think to come up with, right? And that's what's. So great is an evolution it's a work in progress of worry started the last question I wantto have free extraneous what is your best tips for how to really grow your community, to really start that thriving community that you've built for the new podcaster yeah, I think you know, I get asked this question a lot related to any online projects you know, we started five years ago in five years ago the world was not anywhere as as near is noisy as it is now ah, you know, I mean, I say it's the small army strategy and chris scalable really deserves credit for that term even though I wrote a book with that name ah ee I mean he's the one who coined the term when I talk to and that's where I got the idea from but really I think there's something to be said for that, you know, in such a noisy sort of world, I think that you have to cater to a very, very small group of people and just go deep with them, give them every bit of attention and loving care that you have ah, you know, I think daniella port said to me earlier, you know, thiss year, you know, she was talking about her book lunch and she said, you know, the publishers like, well, what about people that I've never heard of you she's like, well, I don't care about people that have never heard of me uh and I think that you know, the idea that we're constantly trying to get the attention of people that I've never heard of us is is it's a lot easier to get the people who absolutely love you to go and get the people who've never heard of you? So my focus is always been on the people who are already there on to make sure that, you know, I know them well, I mean, we try to do as much as we can to give back to the community. I mean, if we mean, you see all the artwork that you see on our sites and everything that we do, those are all people when we, any time we can place we go to, to be able to, you know, re invest our money and our income from things is back into our community. That's why it's so great like, we're very fortunate to have some incredibly talented people to work with us. I mean, they're they make us into who we are. We're not, you know, without them we would maybe we are yeah, our loyal listeners. It's it's. Really amazing. Well, shri, this has been phenomenal. Thank you so much for joining us. Live on creative live on my boat. You for all your tips of advice? Absolutely. Well, fantastic. Well, I love it. Yeah, threes build an amazing community, you know, what's great about that, though, is if you notice it was an evolution for him on what he developed for his understanding for his audience, and then what? He transitioned into that. Like, he said, his listeners were ahead of that. So that's ok, that's. Why? It doesn't all have to be perfecto launch. Just getting out there in growing it as you grow and blossom into that.