How To Podcast From A to Z With Tristan Pelligrino

Stephen: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the Digital Masters Podcast. Today I have Tristan Pellegrino from the Motion Agency, and we’re going to be talking about how to podcast. 

We’re going to be talking about the benefits for your company, how to think through your show. 

What are the processes involved needed to run the show and how do you actually distribute it?

So people actually see it, so let’s get into it.

Alright, Tristan and hey man, thanks for being on the show today.

Tristan: Hey, Stephen. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Stephen: Yeah, I think how we came across each other is a testament to podcasting. Cause I was watching the feed on LinkedIn, and I saw Nick Bennett. 

I saw one of his podcasts and I thought it was cool how that came together in terms of the video being very artistic, and I reached out to him.

I said, Hey, how are you putting all this together? And that’s how I ended up knowing who you were. He was like, “Hey, reach out to Tristan,” so that’s how I contacted you guys. 

And so I think it’s cool, that it just shows how podcasting works. And so I was hoping to dive into some of the podcasting stuff today.

Tristan: Yeah, definitely. I think everyone sees Nick on LinkedIn, right? He’s everywhere.  Yeah, I’m glad he made that connection. Nick’s a good guy and we love working for him. 

We’re actually kicking off a podcast just for him all about personal branding. So it’s exciting to get that one rolling. But yeah, we’ve had a lot of fun kicking off and launching the RevGenius podcast. 

And I think you’re right. That’s what podcasting is all about. It shows up in the feed, it stands out, it’s all about conversations and that’s how people get connected. So I’m glad that worked out in this case. 

Stephen: Yeah. I was going to ask you on that note. So the dream with content marketing for a lot of people is that: 

‘Somebody sees your content and then they just immediately reach out to work with you. And they’re like, Hey, I want to work with you. I saw your stuff.’ 

But it often doesn’t work out that way. I was curious if you could talk a little bit about your experience with the shows, your own show and the shows that you produce, how have you seen what the benefits have been and how have you seen that play out?

Tristan: Yeah. And Stephen, folks ask us a lot of times about the ROI of podcasts or the benefits of podcasting. As a smaller agency on our side, podcasting really is the focal point of all of our content. That’s really the basis of everything that we do. So if it wasn’t working for us we wouldn’t do it.

And so we continue to do it. And it’s just a big part of all the content that we create for our clients. It’s very similar to… there are some things that you can track with podcasting — website views, downloads, LinkedIn post views, etcetera. But there’s a lot that you can’t track.

So for instance, the conversation that you and Nick had, that wasn’t in the LinkedIn comments. Nobody could see it. There’s a conversation going on there and that’s not something… I can’t put that number in a spreadsheet anywhere but here we are, we’re chatting and building on those conversations and information that was shared.

So I think that really the true benefit is trying to understand some of the things that you can track. And getting a baseline. 

And then recognizing that there’s going to be a lot of anecdotal evidence that your podcast is working and your content is actually driving the right people to your company’s website or other conversations.

Stephen: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. When I first started doing my podcast, it was definitely to just have a lot of content. Because when I started posting on LinkedIn, I realized, man, this is hard. There’s a lot, especially coming up with individual posts every day. 

And so I was just like, Hey, this is going to be an interesting way of creating a lot of content.

But then I did start to notice a lot of other things, like people saying that they saw the show, and not necessarily customers, but they would say, Hey, I shared this with somebody else. 

Tristan:  Yeah. 

Stephen: But yeah, I think sometimes when I do talk to people about content marketing, that’s always the first thing, what’s the ROI?

And I have to spend a little bit of time discussing with them, showing how all these things can play out in lots of different ways, for them to understand. One thing that was actually cool was with one potential client that I was going to work with.

It was also just an opportunity to hand deliver some content to them. I said, “Hey, actually, we don’t have enough time to talk about this on this call, but I’ve got this other pod, I just recorded this podcast. Go ahead and take a look at it. We go in depth on this particular topic.”

So that was cool as well. 

Tristan: Yeah. Yeah. And I think you had this post on LinkedIn, I think it was today, right? Where you’re talking about how hard it is to create content, but how a podcast is really laying the foundation for you, right? You get so much out of it. And I think that’s the big piece, that people still view podcasts as a channel. It’s like something to add on. 

But it can really be the foundation for just about everything that you do and all this content spins off of it. And that’s really a mindset shift, I think. 

Stephen: And then there’s one thing that I do now as well. And then when I tell people about that, it kinda turns the light bulb on. It’s that you can reach out to people and start conversations with people really easily.

And people that might not otherwise respond to you, you’re now saying, “Hey, come onto my show and let’s talk about your journey.” Now all of a sudden you’re creating a relationship with somebody, a one-on-one relationship. 

You’re learning about their industry and you wouldn’t have been able to necessarily start that off if you hadn’t had something like that to leverage.

Tristan: That’s right. Yep. 

Stephen: So, cool. So when you start working with a new client, I’d be interested to hear a little bit about how do you start designing the show? Like how do you help them think it through, because there’s so many different ways you could do this and everyone has their own personality, the way they feel comfortable.

So how do you help a client think through how they’re going to do their show? 

Tristan: Yeah. Launching and growing a show is not easy. And a lot of times the biggest obstacle that we find for folks is just getting started. So in that launch phase we’re trying to do exactly what you’re mentioning. 

How do you develop a structure for it? What’s the objective? What’s the theme? Who are we trying to connect with and where do they want to go? And that’s really what we do when we develop what we call a strategic action plan. 

So that’s really part of our launch phase when we work with small scrappy B2B marketing teams, and that’s traditionally who we work with. These are folks that are stretched really thin.

They have limited resources and they need to get a lot out of everything that they do. And that’s really where a podcast fits in. 

So when we’re going through that launch phase, one of the major things that we accomplish is developing what we call a theme statement. And that’s really your core foundation for everything that you do.

And we really envision it as, who are you trying to help? And then where do they want to go? And if you can be very specific about that, the more specific, the better. So, actually describe who it is the podcast is for. Is it a ‘marketer’ or is it a B2B tech marketer that’s on a team of three to four people? 

Really get specific with that audience because when people hear that, you’re going to attract the right people. 

If it’s just marketing, I don’t know, it could be all over the place. If it’s just ‘finance podcasts,’  ‘personal finance podcasts,’ not really sure. But if it’s something very specific, for people that just got out of undergrad and they’re trying to pave the way early on in their career, you’ve described that audience very clearly.

And then the second piece of it is figuring out where this audience wants to go. What are they trying to achieve? And then making sure that every single episode that you produce helps them along that journey. 

And that’s really a lot of the exercises that we do in the early part of an engagement with Motion. It’s all around developing that strategic action plan. And then once we have that foundation piece, we know what the show’s about. We know what it’s trying to accomplish. 

Then we develop a lot of the visual framework for it. And that’s where you establish the look and feel. So typically it’s an extension of a company’s brand.

The show has its own name typically, and you’re working with some brand elements and you’re trying to bring life to the conversations that you have. And that’s where we just have a lot of fun with it. And we do a lot of video content. That grows out of audio-only material. And then we also do video podcasting much in the way where we’re creating here.

We use that as the centerpiece of a lot of content as well. So all of that is really rolled up into that launch phase with folks. 

Stephen: Yeah, that’s cool. And one thing that’s interesting with content in general is knowing who the audience is and knowing where they want to go. That’s the corner piece of being able to create value.

And what I’ve noticed with just helping people create content in general is the more confident they feel that they’re creating value, then the more confident they are to even do it. 

So when I help people just get on video and do a video, the main thing that makes them feel comfortable is that they feel like their message is going to have some power to it.

And then once they feel that, yeah, all of a sudden — there’s a lot of imposter syndrome that goes around with creating videos, creating content, doing podcasting and stuff like that —  I can imagine that is the exciting phase because you can finally see people saying, “Oh, I can see how this will work, I can see it.”

Tristan: Yeah. Yeah. 

Stephen: That’s cool. And so after you design the show, I’m curious, cause I know a lot of your posts have been about the process afterwards. And I know you offer a done-for-you service. So I’m assuming that after the show’s recorded, for the most part, you take all those files and you put them on a drive somewhere, and then it kicks off a process.

So I’m interested to know a little bit about that backend process that you’ve shared a bit about on LinkedIn. What does that look like? The show’s over, you drop the files in a folder. And then where do you take it from there? 

Tristan: Yeah, great question. And that’s also one of the barriers, too, for people when they see a podcast and all the different files and just the organization that’s involved.

So we take that all off of their plates. When we have a strategic action plan in place and a client’s ready to record, then really all they have to do is, we coach them through the recording session. We develop a structure for their show and all of that is in place, but once they’re ready to record and they record a conversation, they just fill out a form.

There’s no files, upload or anything. It’s basically: here’s the host, here’s the guest, here are some recording notes, some things that I wrote down or some interesting turning points in the conversation that you all can use to develop content, and then they hit submit that’s really it from there.

We actually acquire all the platforms for them. So the recording platform, hosting platform, all that we take care of. So we actually go out, we pull down the files and then that becomes part of our content management on our side. So we have backup systems in place. Put everything on Google drive to share with clients.

And then we back up all of our content on Backblaze. So we have basically two different places for all the content. And then, really it’s the post-production workflow that goes on from there. And it involves editing the podcast, going through developing show notes, picking out highlights, creating written, feature articles from that.

But it all stems from a client pressing a button and saying, “Hey, I recorded. Here’s what happened.” Boom, submit. And then five to seven business days later, they get a suite of assets that stem out of that one episode. 

Stephen: Yeah. That’s awesome. Oh, so you write articles as well.

That’s pretty cool. And so do you sit in as a producer on the show? Are you just muted in the background watching or are you not even there.?

Tristan: Yeah. So we typically do early on just to make sure clients are comfortable with the interface and they’re comfortable hitting ‘record.’

And once they get used to it, then typically they’re off and running. They’re scheduling their own sessions. They’re recording. And then it’s just a matter of them pressing that button and saying, “Hey, this is what occurred. And let’s go from there.” 

And what we do with all of our packages, we have weekly meetings built in, and that’s really where we have a lot of fun because we’re continuing to work with customers to evolve and refine their show.

Whether the visuals are changing slightly, the structure, developing a line of questions for a certain guest, or changing things up, building variety, that’s all about growing as a podcaster. 

And that’s the fun part that we have, too, where it’s not, “Hey, we launched, you’re off and recording and we’ll talk to you in three months.” Just let us know when you have an episode. 

It’s much more the other way where, “Hey, let’s meet every week. Let’s figure out how things went. What’s your feedback on the episode? What did you like? What’d you not like? Where do you want to improve? 

“What feedback are you getting from folks that are listening? What do they want to hear?” 

So all of that is really rolled into it as well. And Stephen, you probably know that’s part of podcasting where you can show up and ask the same questions all the time, if you want, or you can continue to evolve and change and adapt. And that’s really where the true growth comes from, right?

Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. I think for me personally, the main thing I’ve always had to keep aware of is to try to be in the moment, try to listen. You do have several things going on that can distract you. 

For instance, I happen to be using a new piece of software today. It’s doing a few things that I’m not used to. But yeah, I still have this recording [laughs], so that’s good. 

Yeah. That’s the one thing, make sure you record it. But yeah, you have to stay present to listen to what people are saying. Cause it’s super easy to be distracted and that’s where you can lose the magic of what you’re talking about. 

So, for the people that are producing their own show, what are some of those step-by-step things you are doing in that post production? One thing you mentioned on LinkedIn was, the first thing you do is you create like an ID for the podcast.

So what are some of those things? We don’t have to go into every little thing, but what are some of those things that you do? 

Tristan: Yeah, it’s a very boring detail of podcasting. But it is something we recommend, creating this unique number. Because if you think about podcasts, you might have episode number one, two, three. 

But, Stephen, what if someone else swoops in and you want to release that as episode one, two, three. So now you’ve got everything named the same. You’ve got the same episode numbers and you might have to change graphics, etcetera. So the thing that we recommend is you have a unique ID that’s internal, and that is used to track in your project management system. 

It’s also used to search on Google drive. So if I want to pull an episode that was episode ID number four five seven, I just search on Google drive or on my local drive. I quickly pull up all the assets and I can locate it very quickly. 

These things come into play when you start to produce content at scale. You start to think about all the episodes you have in place, and how can I repurpose these?

So you need some system intact. Organization is a really big piece of podcasting. Once you start to get into that consistent cadence, and you have a lot of content rolling out, and you want to get the most out of it so that, that’s a big part of it. 

So once you have that system, the other thing I suggest, if people are producing their own show, if you don’t have a team, go through the episode, pick out the highlights, listen to it again. 

Because like you mentioned, when you record yourself there’s a lot going on. You’re doing the best job you can. But when you listen back to it, some things might jump out at you and that might spark some content outside of the episode. 

It also might spark a feature article that you create out of the episode itself. So there’s a lot that stems from that exercise of just going back through and listening to it and developing some of your own notes out of it. So that is a big piece that not everyone does.

That is good. And then obviously the editing and getting everything out there and trying to use a single episode in as many different ways as you can. 

Stephen: Yeah. Yeah, you might see the process sometimes as being a little bit boring. But on the flip side, I enjoy it because it is the thing that allows you to do the most you can with your podcasts. Especially when you start producing a lot of things. 

Cause you’re right, there’s so many different assets that end up getting created and you’re sending things back and forth between different people. Maybe you have an editor. Maybe somebody who’s writing copy, all these different things, they all have to come back and stay organized. 

Otherwise that’s one of the things that just discourages people from even doing it. Or they just don’t end up using the material. They only record it. They only publish it in one spot and then nobody ends up getting exposed to it because they’re not really distributing it in a way that people can access it.

So I think that’s the thing…everyone tells you to create content. But for me, that organizational piece has been the thing that I learned after the fact. But then I realized how important it was in pulling off the things that I want to do. 

Tristan: Yeah.

That’s a good point. Sometimes as a podcaster, you don’t really learn a lot of that until you go through the process. We cut our teeth on video content, which is a very hard medium to produce on a large scale. 

And that’s what Motion started out as. My background is as a video agency owner. I sold my last company and started Motion four years ago. It was all video content for business. 

And we’ve evolved into podcasting because we were developing a lot of video series and episodic content, but it’s just that podcasting was a great platform. Clients asked us to do it. We started one and then we just built a whole model out of that.

And that’s why we still use a lot of video content that comes from the podcast episode itself, just because that’s the nature of what we’ve always done. So that’s what’s a little bit different about us compared to some other folks that don’t necessarily have that video background. 

Stephen: Yeah. That was the one thing that stood out to me.

I actually saved several of the clips, like the way you guys would introduce the guests. You brought in that animation. That stuff was cool. That’s on my list to accomplish, to figure out how you guys did that. Because those little things are the things that make it stand out on the feed.

It’s the thing that makes you stop and say, “Oh, this is different than just two people on the right and left talking.” Cause you see that on LinkedIn all over the place. So, yeah. That’s another interesting thing that people don’t often talk about with content. 

There’s the content itself that has to be high quality, but you still have to get people’s attention. And it seems like you guys have that piece mastered, so that’s cool. 

Tristan: Yeah. Yeah. We try to do that. That’s really a lot of fun, too. And I think people forget about that even in the B2B context. We’re all human. We all have good conversations. Also, some of this can be fun to communicate so everyone’s not all buttoned up all the time.

Let’s bring in some of those lively brand elements, let’s bring some energy to it. And yeah, hopefully it jumps out in the feed. 

Stephen: Yeah. Cool. So, stepping back again, one thing that’s interesting about content marketing is most of the time people are just encouraging people to get into it.

It’s like you hear, “Gary V is making  content,” and then you learn, “Oh, this is hard to organize. It’s hard to keep all this stuff in order just so our team can handle it all.” And then the next piece is now you’ve got to actually distribute it and make sure people see it.

And I think that’s another piece that people don’t think a lot about. Maybe it’s one of the harder pieces. How do you then start to think about where it’s going to get distributed, and how do you optimize that? How do you get feedback and then improve things?

What’s the process you go through? 

Tristan: Yeah. When it comes to distribution, we have this three-phase process that we typically lay out. 

The first is, for distribution, it’s all about breaking it down and repurposing. So you need to take your long form content and select the highlights and get the main points out of it.

So if you have a good theme statement, and you know who the podcast is for, and you know where they want to go, and how you want to help them, that helps you pick out the right clips, the right short pieces. 

What would resonate the most with this audience? What would help them the most? Let’s break all those pieces down. You get your audio-video content, written content, all of that is in place. 

You have your assets right there. It’s your first level of distribution. 

From there, you post to your corporate profile page. You’ve got your LinkedIn company page, you’ve got Twitter. You’ve got whatever social platforms your company is on. If it’s Facebook, etcetera, you have that level of distribution. 

You have your company website, definitely a page on there for your podcast episodes, but putting your show notes there and the transcripts are a bonus. You also have feature articles, so you can actually create a blog post from the topic of discussion and pull in other resources online.

So that’s like your second level of distribution. 

And then you have this third level that we call enrichment. So you have all these pieces broken down, you got them onto all the typical channels, right? All the different places that you typically use for your company. 

Now you’re going to enrich it, which means, you have traditional blog posts, maybe you repurpose some of those soundbites in another blog post. Okay. Maybe you go back and enrich the content of a post that gets a lot of organic traffic. But you want to make it a little bit more dynamic. 

Stephen: That’s cool. 

Tristan: And maybe you want to route people to your podcast. So that’s one level.

Now you have something to include in your newsletter. If you do have an active email list or a customer list, you now have content that actually will help them. So that’s enriching that level of communication. 

You also have your employees and they all have their own network, right? So, your company profile page on LinkedIn is great. Sure, you can distribute information there. But really where you get the benefit is with employees. 

A lot of the distribution is from the employees who are taking, let’s say a short video clip, and they’re adding their own perspective. So you have a snapshot of a conversation that was in a video. Now an employee is adding a thousand characters to that with his own perspectives.

And then you got all these comments that appear underneath. So that’s enriching that content stemming from one podcast episode. 

You also have your guest. So, Stephen we’re both on this podcast. But I’m going to share on my side. I’m going to write up something about what we talked about. I’m going to share it and you’ll have no idea how many views that I get from that and how many people see your podcast and what you’re doing. 

So there’s that. Then there’s also running paid traffic to your podcast. If you think about paid traffic in general, if you take your ideal audience and route them to a valuable resource that helps them, that’s money well spent. 

That’s the top of the funnel. It’s building some awareness for your company. So you can turn these short video clips and sound bites into ads that you purchase on all the different channels. 

So that’s really the three levels there: 

You break it down and repurpose. 

You have your typical distribution layer that most folks are aware of that they’re doing if they have a podcast in place. 

Then you have this enrichment layer where you’re going to a level deeper and you’re thinking about how else you can use your podcast. And if you go through those three phases you’ll get a lot from that single episode. 

Stephen: That’s interesting, I like how you call it enrichment, too.

I think most people don’t even think about their guests. Well, some people are aware about that. 

But I think that employee part of it is huge. That seems like one of the untapped areas in content in general that companies haven’t quite gotten into. I don’t know if it’s fear or if they encourage them to post without really teaching them how. 

Maybe they don’t explain how you might even think about doing it. Or they don’t give them the time. 

But if you think about it, if you have even just a few people in your company that are posting alongside the CEO, or whoever else is posting, that could be a lot of potential interaction. You know how the organic reach on LinkedIn works, where people are seeing likes and comments of what you’re doing.

It seems like one of the most untapped areas. Although I will say, I have noticed at least just when I talk to companies, posting is one of the hardest things to get going. I think because companies don’t train, they don’t really necessarily explain the value. It’s also harder to get your employees to do it if you’re not doing it.

But if you could get that kind of engine running, that seems like almost one of the best ways. 

Tristan: It is. And I think you mentioned that it’s untapped and I really think it is. And I was just listening to a podcast not too long ago, that was talking about employee advocacy programs, where there is this whole model where companies are just not embracing the fact that their employees can have a voice. 

And the important thing is people say authenticity a lot. If you embrace the voice of your employees and you give them the opportunity to add a layer of their own perspectives and thoughts on top of something that was mentioned in an episode, that’s empowering.

And they’re building their own personal brand and growing their careers. So, if you look at it through that lens, it’s beneficial for the company. It’s a win-win in that scenario. And I think a lot of companies don’t really view it that way yet. But for the companies that can figure that out, there’s really a lot of opportunity there.

Stephen: Yeah. You have to have the right mindset. Cause you can’t be afraid that your employee is going to get a better offer. Or that they’re going to build their own brand and it makes it then more valuable. You can’t be afraid of what they might say or the perspective they have, otherwise you won’t be willing to empower them to do these things. 

But it’s funny. Cause in today’s age that just harms you. It harms the company in itself. When you think about marketing, when you think about all these different ways to distribute content, it’s always those untapped markets, those untapped opportunities that give you the advantage.

And right now obviously some companies have a hard time distributing even just a little bit, but even for the companies that are doing well, it’s like your guests and then your employees are those new untapped areas that if you can take advantage of you can really benefit from. 

That’s cool, man, this is awesome. So maybe, we talked about it, but maybe tell people exactly how you work with them and then where they can get a hold of you. 

Tristan: Yeah, for sure.  The best place to check out Motion. It’s motionagency.io . 

And Stephen, the one thing that we’re working on now that goes live very soon is a podcasting course. It’s all for small scrappy marketing teams. And it’s all about how you can launch and grow a podcast for your company. 

Unlike some other courses that are out there for solo operators or creators, this course is designed specifically for organizations. So, how can you create one for your company? How can you run it through all the systems that we talked about on this show? Then how can you grow it and really get all the distribution in place and really get the benefit of podcasting for your company in place?

So that’s coming out very soon. 

Stephen: That’s awesome. 

Tristan: Yeah. So we’ll have that in place to help. And that’s really our approach, just coming to the site, we can help you out on the course. There’s also some resources on there about how you can plan and build a podcast. 

And then, if it’s something that you’re looking for, a more done-for-you aspect. We have plans that go from audio-only podcasting to introducing audio-video content as well.

Stephen: It’s genius, man. I appreciate you being on the show today and breaking things down. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve already learned a lot from you guys. And I will also sum up where people can get a hold of you and put that on my website. I’ll be pushing that stuff as much as I can as well.

 Thanks for being on, man. 

Tristan: Cool. Appreciate it, Stephen. Thanks so much for having me.

Stephen: All right. Yeah. Thanks, see ya.

 

Reach out to Tristan:

[email protected]

https://motionagency.io

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