Don Lee runs The HC Biz Show podcast, serving a niche but highly engaged audience. For growing thought leadership, a podcast like Don’s is a goldmine. He’s interview many of our clients and it’s the gift that keeps giving, as a promotes episodes again and again.

Podcasts are new territory for most companies. Don provides helpful thoughts on the medium in general.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about the podcasting world right now from perspective guests?

It’s not specific to guests, but the primary misconception around podcasting is that you need huge numbers of listeners to make it worthwhile. The fact of the matter is that 80% of podcast have fewer than 1,100 downloads in the first 30 days. When you compare that to typical web/blog reach, or the top shows with millions of downloads like Joe Rogan, it sounds pretty pitiful. But, the engagement is still there and it’s super niche. For example, my show gets around 600 downloads in the first month. But those are 600 people who tune in to listen to 45-60 minute discussions on the intricacies of the healthcare business – how many of those people do you think are out there? These are the people making decisions in the market. So, we can’t get you all the people, but we can get you the right people.

What do you believe podcasting offers that other forms of media don’t right now? 

It goes back to the engagement I just mentioned. A podcast gives me a way to talk directly to the listener in what feels like a 1-on-1 or small group conversation for 30-60 minutes every week. That gives you the opportunity to build a ton of trust. And the medium allows listeners to engage with you while they’re driving, working out or doing laundry, so they’ll stick around longer (as opposed to reading a blog post where you are easily distracted and have 100’s of options to click away at any second). There is simply no other medium that lets you engage with your audience on such a personal level so frequently.

How should someone pitch a podcast producer or host about a guest? 

Like any pitch, DO YOU RESEARCH!. What’s the show about? What’s the host trying to accomplish (most of us make that abundantly clear on each and every show). Have they covered your topic already? If so, do you have something to add to it? Listen to at least 1 episode – it’s super-obvious when you haven’t.

If, and only if, your guest pitch is in line with the goals of the show, go for it. Explain why the guest and topic are a fit and make it clear that the guest will provide information that’s useful to the audience. Try to reference something specific form a past episode and use it to strengthen your pitch. Don’t approach this as a way to promote your product or service, but as a way to give to the audience. To share the truths that you have uncovered your work.  That’ll show through in your ask and greatly increase your odds of finding a match.

 A simple way to think about this: Find a host that serves the audience you’re trying to reach and help them do their job.

What needs to happen in order for the interview to be successful? i.e. guest characteristics, equipment, etc. 

Give first. The listener is giving you their attention. Make it worth their while. Go in knowing exactly what you want to give them. What’s the key lesson you’ve learned in your journey? What can you share with them that will help them do their work right now? Give them something of value and they’ll remember you and your product.

Do not, under any circumstances, read from a script. Relax. You know your stuff. Focus on what you are giving and have fun.

Be in a quiet place and use a headset. At least a smart phone headset. Consider spending a few bucks on a nice USB headset/mic – your biggest investment here is time and you want this to sound good, so what’s $50 to help make that happen?

 How can a guest help promote the podcast episode after? 

Mailing lists are #1. Everyone says they hate email, but they still read it and it’s far and away the most effective way to promote your episode. #2: Share the episode via your own website. I offer an embeddable player to my guests. If you can get that it’s great, but even if not you can write a blog post about the message you shared / the gift you gave the audience on the episode. And the host will greatly appreciate it if you link back to the show on the podcast page. Finally, social media – it certainly helps, but it’s more effective at letting people know you were on a podcast than it is at getting them to listen to it.

Who is your dream guest for the HC Biz Show? 

That’s a tough one. We’ve been fortunate enough to get almost everyone we ever wanted. Most of my healthcare heroes are in the trenches and not necessarily celebrity types, so by following my own advice and making informed, genuine asks, they tend to agree.

Thank you to Don for his insights. Listen to the podcast and follow it on Twitter!