Max Branstetter is the founder & podcast producer at MaxPodcasting. His podcast is called the Wild Business Growth Podcast, where he interviews a new entrepreneur who’s turning wild ideas into wild growth every Wednesday morning. It was listed in Podcast Magazine’s “Hot 50” and has featured over 150 creative entrepreneurs.
In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss Max’s journey, the benefits of podcasting, and how to grow a podcast’s reach.
Growing up, Max went to a lot of sports games. His dad was a “sports nut,” and he taught Max to love sports too. The first podcast Max heard was Road Trippin’, a podcast hosted by Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Allie Clifton that shares stories from NBA players and sports and entertainment personalities.
“They would just talk casually about what life is like in the NBA,” Max said. “It just totally rocked my world. I had never heard anything like this, where it wasn’t a TV press conference; it wasn’t an official paid ad or anything. It was just raw, genuine conversation. It really felt like you were sitting there in the locker room with them.”
Max thought, “Wow. There’s something cool about this podcast. Because it’s such an intimate level of storytelling, it feels like it transports you to wherever it’s being recorded. It gives you a really full idea of the people who are talking and the story behind it. You can create a really solid connection with people.”
Around this time, Max realized the corporate world wasn’t a good fit for him, and he wanted to do something he was more passionate about. He joined his family’s business, focusing on digital marketing. As they were brainstorming ways to market the business, Max kept going back to podcasting. They decided they needed a podcast to help market the business, so they started what became the Wild Business Growth Podcast.
Max learned he loves hosting podcasts and producing them. He started his own business to help business owners produce their podcasts and take time off their plates. Right now, he’s helping with about a dozen podcasts and he’s looking to expand the business by hiring some freelancers that will keep the quality of the podcasts high. He eventually wants to hire a full-time team.
Max’s greatest home run has been being able to start a business with a consistent income. He always wanted to start his own business, but he wasn’t sure what it would be. He just wanted to solve a problem for people, and now he is with his business.
Benefits of Podcasting
Here are three benefits of podcasting.
As Max was starting his business, he was talking to some entrepreneurs and getting their advice. By this point, Max had had over 100 guests on his podcast.
One of these entrepreneurs told him, “You have an incredible network of inspiring entrepreneurs. You create such a powerful connection with them, and they’re also very connected and know how to open doors. As you’re starting your business and as you’re focusing on getting some early clients, you should be reaching out to some Wild Business Growth Podcast alumni every single week, not pitching them on anything but just talking to them and checking in and asking if they know any business owners who would benefit from your service.”
Max made an excel file and a schedule, and for several months he personally reached out to at least five podcast alumni every week. “A lot of people have been over the top helpful as far as referrals with the business. There’s a few of those alums and entrepreneurs, in particular, that have just repeatedly [sent] multiple referrals a month. [They] have been so instrumental to building this thing and sending people my way.”
Max continued, “If you are somebody who has a podcast, just keep in mind to stay in touch with your previous guests [and] stay in touch with your network because you never know what doors they can open [or] how you can help each other out.”
Max explained that podcasting is a “phenomenal networking tool,” but we must be personal and genuine when we use it as such. We shouldn’t just send the same email or message to everyone who’s been on our podcast; they may be able to tell and may end up ignoring it. However, a heartfelt message goes a long way, and they’ll be more inclined to help us out or ask for our help when they need it.
“Every time you interview somebody, that’s a new door that opens for you, that’s a new door that opens for your guests,” Max said. “There’s a new possibility for every single person you meet.”
It works for any industry as well because there are podcasts about everything. If I work in the ice cream supply business, I could have a podcast that interviews ice cream shop owners, manufacturers, marketers, etc. All those people would become part of my network and we’d be able to help each other out.
I worked with a software company in the HR space. They were trying to contact several VPs of HR in Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies, but they had a hard time getting to the right person. We told them to start a podcast and invite the VPs on the show. They were able to get in the door so much easier that way.
A podcast can also be a great marketing tool, especially if we already have a product or service that is ready to go out into the world. We can market our products or services through official ads or mid-roll ads. We can work our call to action into the podcast and drive leads and sales for whatever we are selling that way.
Podcasts can also establish us as experts in our fields, build our influence, and increase our credibility. For example, Max recently interviewed Laura Rike, who is a Pinterest manager and strategist. If she had a Pinterest podcast, as a Pinterest strategist, every Pinterest tip she shared would reinforce her expertise in the minds of her listeners. They would think, “Laura is a Pinterest expert. She is the person to go to if I need help with Pinterest.”
Similarly, if we have a podcast that discusses something in our expertise, it will establish us as experts in the minds of our listeners, and they will be more likely to come to us for help in that area.
“You can use [podcasting] to build your influence, build your reputation, and drive people back to your site [and] to your business by sharing your expertise,” Max said.
How to Grow a Podcast’s Reach
Podcasts can often take a long time to take off, which is why we need to go into it with the right mindset and be passionate about whatever we are podcasting about so we don’t get burnt out quickly. However, we can grow our reach through different strategies. Here are a couple.
One of the best ways to grow our reach is through consistency. Sometimes when someone starts a podcast, they’ll post the first few episodes and then stop, maybe starting up again a few weeks later, maybe giving up. Either way, the momentum they started to gain in those first few episodes is gone.
“[Growing reach] is the kind of thing that happens week after week of putting out high quality content, and sharing it, and spending the time to actually market the podcast,” Max said. Running a podcast is hard, so when we start we need to make sure we’re committed to putting in the work.
People love consistent content. If their favorite podcast puts out an episode every week, they’ll look forward to it all week. We should try to stay consistent, so that we don’t disappoint our audience when we miss a week.
“One of the most pure ways to increase your downloads [and] increase your listeners is to increase your frequency,” Max said. If we can release episodes more often than once a week, it can really help grow our audience. “If you’re somebody who can release every day or every other day, you have a much [higher] likelihood of getting more downloads because there are more episodes.”
However, putting out more episodes means spending more time or money on the podcast. We have to weigh how much we’re willing to put into it to determine how frequently we can post episodes.
Thank you so much Max for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
- Podcasting is a phenomenal networking tool; through interviews we can connect to tons of people in our field. However, we must be personal and genuine when we use it as such.
- We can market our products or services through podcasting.
- Podcasts can establish us as experts in our fields, build our influence, and increase our credibility.
- One of the best ways to grow our reach is through consistency.
- If we can release episodes more often than once a week, it can really help grow our audience.
Connect with Max
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