My Lessons Learned During 3 Years of Podcasting

Back in 2019, I decided to start my own podcast. I have quite a lot to say about the agency world so thought it would be a great platform for me!

3 years later and over 100 episodes in, I thought I would share with you what I have learned and why podcasting might be a great marketing strategy for your agency.

This is episode 1 in a special 3-part series on podcasting.

Time Stamp

[01:40] The average number of podcasts someone creates before they give up is 7! 

[02:10] 8 reasons why podcasting is a great marketing strategy

[02:28] 1. Podcasts are easy to consume

[03:04] 2. It’s a great way to build your audience and build KNOW-LIKE-TRUST

[03:41] 3. It’s not expensive to start a podcast

[04:00] 4. Use guests as a way to grow your audience

[04:58] 5. Position yourself as an authority in your industry

[05:40] 6. It doesn't take a ton of time to produce a podcast

[06:25] 7. It’s fun and you will learn from your guests

[07:00] 8. Podcasting is still in its early days so it’s a great time to get onboard

[08:20] 9 lessons I have learned over the past 3 years

[08:24] 1. Know WHY you are creating a podcast and what you want to achieve

[09:19] 2. Be very clear about who your target listener is

[09:27] 3. Tackle their pains in each podcast episode

[09:40] 4. When recording an episode, imagine you are talking directly 1 on 1 with your listener

[10:13] 5. Don’t give up - keep at it even if you feel like no one is listening!

[11:12] 6. Have a plan to promote your podcast

[11:50] 7. If you use social media to promote your podcast, make sure the post itself, adds value (even if they don’t listen to the podcast)

[12:24] 8. As soon as you can, delegate/outsource the mechanics of producing your podcast

[13:20] 9. It is hard to get decent analytics for your podcast


“The average number of podcast episodes some produces before they give up is 7!” - Rob Da Costa
“Podcasting is still in its early days and like the wild west, so it’s a great time to get started” - Rob Da Costa
“Podcasting is a great way to build and leave your legacy” - Rob Da Costa

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 Full Episode Transcription

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the latest episode of The Agency Accelerator. Now, this is the first in three special episodes where we are going to be digging into everything to do with podcasting. So in Episode 110, I'm going to talk about a great marketing strategy to become guests on other people's podcasts and then episode 112. We're going to be talking about the mechanics of starting your podcast. But today I want to kick this off by giving the whole thing in context and talking about my journey and some of the lessons that I've learned in three years of running my podcasts and over 110 episodes.

So if you're thinking about starting your podcast, then make sure you tune in to the next few episodes where we dig into everything to do with podcasting in much more detail. So let's get on with today's show. I'm Rob Da Costa, and this is the Agency Accelerator Podcast. As someone who has stood in your shoes having started grown and sold my agency, I know just how it feels during the ups and the downs of agency life. So this podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing mine and my guest experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable business.

Hey, everybody, I hope you're having a fantastic week now. Back in 2000 and 19, I thought about starting my podcast, did a load of research about it, and I've been a guest on other people's podcasts. I've got quite a lot to say about the marketing agency world since I've been in it for so long. So I thought, Why not start a podcast? However, one of the first things I read, when I was doing my research, is that the average number of podcasts someone records before they give up is seven.

So I thought to myself, Well, Rob, if you're going to do this, you have to commit to it for the long term, and that's what I did. And here we are three years later and on episode 110 or so. Now, there are many reasons why you might consider starting a podcast, especially if you are passionate and knowledgeable about your topic or your subject matter and your audience. Who you want to target does consume information via podcasts. So I thought I'd start this episode off by sharing with you eight reasons why podcasting is a great marketing strategy and eight reasons why you might want to consider podcasting as part of your marketing strategy to reach out to your audience.

So, first of all, listening to a podcast is easy. It is really easy to consume audio. It could be while you're driving your car, sitting on the train, going to the gym, walking the dog and so on. So it's a very easy thing to do. You don't need to be glued to your computer, watching a Youtube video or reading a blog or a piece of content. So that's the first thing. And, in the US, apparently at the moment, about 51% of the population listens to podcasts and about 22% listens to podcasts every week.

So they subscribe to podcasts like this and tune in every week, just like they would and Netflix TV series. So that's the first reason. The second reason is that a great way to build your audience and you know it's always super important that we build no like and trust with our audience because, as you know, people won't buy from you until they trust you. So a podcast is a fantastic way of starting to build empathy. It's not very it's not one dimensional, like reading a blog where you don't get a sense of the person when you're listening to a podcast, you're listening to my voice, so you get a sense of who I am.

So that's my second kind of reason why you might consider starting a podcast because it is a great way to build an audience. And number three is, as marketing strategies go, it's not an expensive way of doing it. Now, in 101 112 when we have Harry Morton on, we'll be talking about some of the costs and the things that you need to buy, so I'm not going to dig into that today. But suffice it to say all you need is a decent mike, and then you're ready to go.

So it's not an expensive way of starting a podcast. The next reason you might want to consider starting your podcast is that it is also a great way of building your audience. And the reason for that is obviously that listeners listen. And if they leave reviews, then the algorithm shows it's more people. But above and beyond that, if you have guests on your podcast as I do, then those guests will share the podcast episode with their audience. And so it is a great way of increasing your audience.

So that's my next reason why you might want to consider starting your podcast. And the next reason there is number five is that the podcast is a fantastic way to position yourself as an authority in your industry if you know what you're talking about, of course, and if you are genuinely adding value and we should always take a value-first approach in all of our markets, including podcasts, then it is a great way of positioning yourself as a thought leader and an authority in your marketplace.

And the next reason, I say this one with a bit of caution is that it is a great way to promote your products and services. Now, just that sound like I'm contradicting myself because I just said you need to take a value-first approach. And of course, if you do, if you genuinely provide value, then your products and services are going to sell themselves. But that doesn't mean when appropriate you shouldn't promote your products and services. So, for example, if I were doing an episode on email marketing, I would promote my free guides on email marketing.

But I would also promote the fact that I have a paid programme that teaches you everything about email marketing. So when appropriate, you can use the podcast as a platform to reach your audience and tell them about your products and services. And the next reason that you might want to consider starting a podcast is it doesn't take a ton of time if you get slick about creating your podcast, especially if you start matching, which is something I've recorded episodes on before, and I'll put a link in the show notes to that.

But it's a way of you recording several podcasts in one day and getting your head in the podcast zone and being super-efficient. But if you get efficient about creating your podcast, Then you can record a podcast in half an hour, 40 minutes and edit it pretty quickly and get it uploaded and so on so it doesn't take a ton of time. I certainly think it's quicker than writing a blog or even recording a kind of well-edited video. It's quicker than doing that, and the next reason is that it is fun.

So it should be fun. I mean everything. If we do stuff that we're passionate about and it's fun, then we are going to, you know, the listener is going to hear that in our voice, so it can be fun doing it if you enjoy talking about your topic. And of course, you can also learn a lot because I always learn something from the guests that I have on the show. And so it's also a great way of expanding your knowledge base and having different, different opinions if you have guests to maybe your opinion, which I always really enjoy when that happens and the next and the final reason why you might want to consider starting a podcast is that podcasting is kind of like still in the Wild West days of marketing strategies.

It's still relatively speaking, quite immature and therefore a massive growing growing market, as opposed to other channels like blogs, for example, that are very saturated. There are billions of blogs where there are only millions of podcasts out there at the moment, and so you're kind of getting in, not at the very early stages, but you're getting in the early days, and therefore you have sort of less competition. So that is my last reason why you might want to consider starting your podcast now a couple of words of caution here.

First of all, you cannot expect instant gratification when you start your podcast. Like any good marketing strategy, it takes time. And as I will go on to in a minute, monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of your podcast can be quite difficult. And that's partly because we're still in those Wild West Days. So don't expect immediate gratification, but being it for the long term, remember, I said at the beginning that the average number of episodes someone recalls before they give up a seven you have to be committed to going way beyond that.

If you want to get some genuine return on investment for the time and effort you're you've put in. Okay, so that's several reasons why you should start a podcast. Now I want to share with you nine lessons that I've learned over the past three years of creating over 110 episodes of my podcast. So lesson number one is not the way you are doing this? No. Why? You are creating your podcast and know what you want to achieve from it. So, are you creating a podcast because you want to use it as a core marketing strategy?

Do you want to build your brand? Do you want to build your profile? Are you trying to create credibility for yourself and maybe leave a legacy? Because, you know, 110 podcasts that I've done so far is a pretty great legacy, I would say of sharing so much of what I've learned about in 30 plus years in the agency and the agency world. Or is it that you want to use your podcast to monetise and earn money from, we'll talk more about that in the interview with Harry so that you need to understand the key reasons why you started your podcast.

So for me, I wanted to build a legacy, and I also wanted to find another good channel to reach my target audience. And that's why I started it. Now, talking of your target audience, the next lesson that I've learned is that you need to be super clear about who your listener is, who your ideal target customer is, so that tip number three you can know that the pain that they suffer, the things that keep them awake at night and that will shape the episodes and the content that you put in your podcast.

Now, when I'm recording the podcast, this is like my tip number four or less in number four. I imagine that my ideal target customer is sitting opposite me and I'm having a conversation with them. So it's like I'm talking to you one on one now, and that will change your tone of voice and change the language they use, rather than not thinking about who your target listener is at all. And just talking about whatever you want to talk about is always imagining that you're sitting opposite your ideal target listener and having a chat with them.

How would you speak? What would you say? What would you tell them? So that's what I do. Number five,  I've already talked about lesson number five years. You've got to be persistent. Don't give up. You need to do at least a year's worth of episodes before you even think about looking at the analytics all before you even think about ways of monetising your podcast because it takes that much time to remember one of the great things about the podcast is that you are creating this legacy. So if someone finds you after a year, they've already got 52 episodes.

If you do it weekly that they can go back and listen to it. And I'm sure, like me, you've discovered a podcast and you thought, This is good and then you go back and you binge listen to previous episodes. So that's what people will do with you. So when you create an episode, even if you've only had 20 listeners of that episode know that it's always going to be there and people will go back, and therefore it will grow over time. So that's tip number five-lesson number five, which is to be persistent and don't give up.

And if you are going to give up, have a chat with yourself at the beginning and say, Don't bother starting this in the first place. Number six is to have a plan to promote your podcast. Sadly, build it and they will come. Doesn't work like it doesn't work with most marketing strategies. So you've got to put your podcast out there and then think about strategies to go and promote it. And yes, of course, if your podcast does well and if people leave, leave reviews. By the way, if you're enjoying this, please consider leaving a review.

Then the algorithm will show it to more people. But you also need to have your strategy, and we'll talk again more about some of the things that you can do in Episode 212. But you can advertise some platforms that will let you some podcasting platforms. We'll let you advertise, but there are many other things you can do, including using social media and something that I've learned about. Social media is of course, you want to promote your podcast to your social media listeners, but make sure the social media posts themselves add some value so that if they don't listen to the podcast, they're still getting some value from it.

And you can do that by sharing the wisdom that came out of the podcast. It might be the Ukraine a 62nd audiogram, which in itself as a stand alone social media post, add some value, so use social media. But make sure you also add value to those posts. And lesson number eight I've got for you is that as soon as you possibly can have someone else manage the mechanics of your podcast, So that means you're going to do the recording. You're going to work out the structure of the episode as I've done with this one.

But then you want to hand the audio file off to someone else who can do the editing and upload it to your platforms and ideally create the show notes and all those other things And then, of course, the marketing of it, because otherwise, it would take you a ton of time. Now, of course, I appreciate in the early days you may not be in a position to outsource that you may not have the money to do it, so you're going to have to do it yourself, which I did.

And in a way, it's great to cut your teeth on that because you learn about editing and you learn about the sort of CEO aspects of your show notes and where you can promote them and so on. But as soon as you can fall and get someone else to do that stuff because that leaves you with the time to do the things that only you can do, which is creating great content for your podcast episodes and then number nine is you need to know the fact that it is really difficult to get good analytics for your podcast.

And like I said earlier, it's the Wild West. And I guess one day there might be some kind of consolidated platform like Google analytics are for websites that exist for the podcast. But right now you would need to go to Apple's platform to look at Apple Analytics. You need to go to Spotify to look at theirs. The platform that you disseminate your podcast out to the outside world will also give you some limited analytics. But you can't look at them on their own. You have to look at all of them.

So again, that's why I was saying You won. Don't even bother thinking about it. I just get episodes out there before you start digging into how well this is going and obviously can get anecdotal feedback based on, you know, surveys that you do with your audience conversations. You have the reviews that you get and so on. But don't bother digging into the analytics until you've got at least through year number one. So that's my last sort of lesson I've learned is that it is difficult to get really good analytics for your podcast.

But that's just how it is at the moment. So I hope that's giving you some food for thought and some foundational ideas about creating your podcast. As I said in Episode 110, I'm going to be talking with Alex Sanfilippo, and he is a real expert on how to get yourself as a guest on other people's podcasts and, of course, how you can bet people for your podcast. So we're talking about how guesting on other people's podcasts can be a fantastic marketing strategy. And then, in Episode 112 I'm talking with Harry Morton all about starting your podcast and specifically how to go about doing that.

Now, both these guests are well qualified to talk on the subject matter. And I tell you what I learned a lot when I did the interview, so I know that you will as well. So please make sure that you've hit the subscribe button in the podcast platform or if you're listening to this is YouTube channel, make sure you subscribe to YouTube, my YouTube channel. And, if you enjoy this episode, then please do consider leaving a review. Because, as I've already implied, that helps the algorithms show me two more people just like you so I can help more people.

So I hope that's been food for thought. Have a fantastic rest of your week and I will see you next Thursday for the next episode of the Agency Accelerator Podcast.

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