3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Grow Your Influence

Secrets from expert, TV host, podcaster, Jason Stapleton on influence, branding and persuasion.

For some, their capacity to create structure in influence is larger than life. This is the case with Jason Stapleton, an influencer who pivots regularly, influences easily, and has no problem sharing his secrets with whomever will listen. You may know Stapleton as the host of the popular History Channel show, The Tesla Files, or perhaps you’ve heard of his first venture Trade Empowered or if you’re lucky- you’re privy to his bold, honest, and spot on podcast The Jason Stapleton Program. His ability to pivot, and grow influence rapidly has landed Stapleton in my hot seat, where we talked about becoming the center of influence… pretty much everywhere you go.

Influence, Persuasion and Branding

Stapleton topples plenty of the influencer advice out there, with his rapid success among multiple industries.

  • Stapleton launched Trade Empowered in 2009 and quickly grew it into one of the biggest and most well respected trading education companies in the world.
  • In 2014, with Trading Empowered humming, Stapleton launched a podcast focused on libertarian economics and politics. Within 2 years he had the number one libertarian podcast in the world with over 30,000 daily listeners.
  • In 2017 Stapleton successfully rebranded as an investigative journalist to host the hit TV show “The Tesla Files” for History Channel.
  • In 2018, Stapleton started sharing what he’d learned about creating celebrity, authority and influence by launching his program.

There are so many successful influencers out there, but very few have built multiple brands, with such massive success, across so many industries, in so little time. This is what Stapleton refers to as his superpower- the ability to quickly build celebrity and authority, regardless of the industry. This is the center of influence, in action,

Let’s talk launching. Stapleton is out there debunking the outdated influencer advice, that keeps personalities from reaching max potential, and the mystery of the massive launch ranked high on the list. Plenty of branding firms out there might have you believe that, in order to be successful in podcasting (or influencing in general) that your launch must be heard ‘round the world. The reason this approach is used is to show instant gratification so clients feel there is some sort of ROI. Showing up on the iTunes New and Noteworthy list isn’t really worth it, something Stapleton says he can prove in numbers. “This influence technique is old and outdated. I’ve done big launches and I’ve been on the lists, and I can tell you firsthand, this isn’t what’s going to make the difference for you.” It’s time to embrace a slower approach, to settle in, think long term, and start where you are, rather than trying to inflate the launch for instant gratification.

Creating A Sense of Higher Purpose

When you ask listeners to join you, whether it’s daily or weekly- there needs to be a clear “why”. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a huge, grandiose vision for the entirety of the show, but it does mean that your vision and your “why” for showing up everyday- that passion and higher purpose- needs to be there. And further, your audience needs to know about it, they have to be able to buy into it. From this vision and higher purpose, every podcaster needs to know, not everyone will see your vision and for you, that’s the best case scenario.

“You cannot let everyone in your club.” The reason exclusion is a thing is because it works. As an influencer, you have to be able to draw clear lines and be 100% okay saying, “You are either with us, or against us.” A lot of influencers and podcasters cannot do this. Ironically, it’s usually the hosts with the low numbers who are afraid to rock the boat, when they have the shows that would probably benefit the most from a clear why, exclusive content, and clear boundaries. If a show has low listenership, Stapleton points out that they probably haven’t been definitive enough, and rather than worry about a massive launch or other “hacks”, they should go back and redefine their “why” with extreme clarity.

Stop Wasting So Much Time

We talked about the time dump that a launch can become, and this is one example of areas where podcasters get lost in the weeds, and some never make it back out. Stapleton encourages his listeners who are getting ready to start, to just do it already. “Pick 25 topics you feel strongly about, and talk about them for an hour.” Just start recording, because nobody is listening at first, and that’s a good thing. Use this time to work out your kinks and bugs, listen to yourself, figure out what works and what doesn’t, and get comfortable behind your microphone.

With something like 930 episodes and more than 100,000 plays per month, Stapleton knows a thing or two about effective time management. Figure out what you want to do, communicate what you’re going to do, and do what you say you’re gonna do- this is the formula to success.

5 Things You Need to Know to Create An Extremely Successful Podcast

Top 5 best ways to… right here, right from Stapleton, on what it takes to become the center of influence, no matter where you go, no matter how often you pivot.

The best way to book guests: Find people you want to talk to, and then give them a good enough reason to come on with you.

The best way to increase listeners: Buy advertising space on similar podcasts and pull from their listenership. Most hosts are looking for sponsorships or to monetize so the ask is easy.

The best way to produce a professional podcast: Listen to yourself, even if everyone thinks you’re vain. Get a feel for what you can improve, and overcome your on-air challenges.

The best way to encourage engagement: We rely on an influence technique based on reciprocity. At the end of the show, we give a clear call to action based on the idea of “I do this for you, now do this for me” and the listeners who are engaged want to help and want to show their support. So that clear call to action, based on reciprocity, is a successful engagement approach.

The best way to monetize: What can you build to deliver value? Backend products are the best way to monetize your podcast. Whether it’s coaching, training, programs, workshops- building in products is key to monetization.