There are so many different forums to join, from Facebook Groups, to Reddit, and many others. You need to join them all and engage in real conversations. Join groups within your specific category as well, and just start talking. Guests will come.
As part of my series of interviews about “How to Become the Center of Influence Through Podcasting”, I had the pleasure of interviewing stand-up comedian Nick Scopoletti and Comedy DJ TheGregalicious host the top ranked comedy interview podcast The Mangina Dialogues. The show’s unique variety of content covering all aspects of pop-culture including comedy, the music scene and professional sports offers hilarious, insightful, and thought-provoking content featuring an array of refreshing personalities.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about why or how you got started as a podcaster?
This perfect partnership was born when fate connected TheGregalicious with Nick, who was his personal trainer at the gym Equinox. During their training sessions, Nick mentioned that he was also a stand-up comedian. TheGregalicious promised to come see his act, which prompted Nick to scoff, “no you won’t, everyone says that.” But TheGregalicious did indeed attend one of Nick’s open mics. To his surprise, and utter dismay, TheGregalicious found Nick to be the most talented of the night’s lineup. Over the next several months TheGregalicious continued to see Nick at open mics and eventually proposed they started a podcast together taking TheGregalicious’ background in magazine publishing and interviewing, and Nick’s experience podcasting and marry them together. After the name The Mangina Dialogues came to TheGregalicious in the shower, we knew we were onto something special with this bold play on words and we had no choice but to get started and see what shakes out.
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
I think the most interesting, and unexplainable thing is how we have been able to go from a brand-new podcast only 4 months old, to being a top ranked podcast in the very competitive comedy category. I wish I could pinpoint the secret sauce, but I think it all boils down to having some interesting people on doing great interviews and taking a different approach to the comedy category.
Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think the biggest mistake we made was thinking we could just turn the mics on and start talking and we would wind up putting out a good product that people would want to listen to. It is not that easy! There is a significant amount of “freestyling” with our interviews, but we learned very fast you need to do prep work in advance of any interview, or episode even if it is just the two of us recording. You have to be ready to pivot at the drop of a dime, and if you are not adequately prepared, the flow will suffer and ultimately you would put out a poor product and people won’t hang in there with you. We learned very quickly that we need to come into every episode with well thought out ideas, even if they are just a handful of bullet points to keep the show on track.
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
Only 4 months — we started July 4th weekend 2019 and have aired 15 episodes.
What are the main takeaways or lessons you want your listeners to walk away with?
We want our listeners to walk away feeling like they know the person we just interviewed well enough that if they bumped into them in a social setting, they would be able to have a conversation like they were their friend and they were catching up. But since we are a comedy show, of course we want everybody to laugh throughout each episode and have a good time. We typically do about an hour show, and the one thing we are told over and over is that the time flew by. That’s the biggest compliment we can get.
Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast?
Podcaster Influencer, Nick Scopoletti and Comedy DJ TheGregalicious of The Mangina Dialogues Podcast shares the best ways to:
Book Great Guests — There are so many different forums to join, from Facebook Groups, to Reddit, and many others. You need to join them all and engage in real conversations. Join groups within your specific category as well, and just start talking. Guests will come. There are also groups like radioguestlists.com you can join to look for guests. The biggest way to find guests really, is to just talk to other podcasters and build relationships with them. You go on theirs, you get to have them come on yours… If you have a budget, I would always recommend hiring a publicist who can help connect you with media outlets and get you exposure. The more exposure, the easier it becomes to get great guests.
2) Increase Listeners — promote promote promote. Much like the above, join as many groups as you can and start engaging everybody you can. If you have a budget to hire PR, then that of course is a great way to go and look for exposure through media hits. Use all of social media as your friend. If you are proficient in Instagram, use it. Start conversations with as many people as you can. Word of mouth is one of your best assets.
3) Produce it in a Professional Way — use good equipment. Invest in the best stuff you can. I highly recommend the Rode Podcaster Pro soundboard. It is the easiest way to do phone-in interviews, super easy to use, and has more simple features you need. Get good mics, and record in a good quiet location. You don’t need to break the bank on any of this. There are so many great articles out there to read up on equipment at all levels. Also, find the best host/publisher for your podcast. We use Podbean as it was very simple to set up. Took less than 1 hour to go from nothing, to up and running.
4) Encourage Engagement — If you do interviews, make sure the people you interview will reciprocate the promoting on their end. We send a lot of direct messages on social media and to our email contact list to make sure people know we published a new episode and ask for their feedback on it. Calls to action always get a good amount of responses and encourage people to be involved with a feeling of ownership in your product.
5) Best Way to Monetize. We do not currently monetize our podcast, but we have been in conversations with potential sponsors who have approached us for a variety of opportunities. We expect to be monetizing in the next few months. Stay tuned!
From your vantage point what are some of the reasons why a person should consider creating a podcast series?
I think if you have a passion, or unique point of view, and want to get out there and talk about it, a podcast is a great way to get it done. It isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Even without good equipment, there are apps out there that literally let you do it all from your iPhone. Like any passion, if you have one, you should try to exploit it. Otherwise it could be a wasted great idea! Podcasts are definitely the way of the future. You got to be in it, to win it!
Nowadays it seems as if everyone is trying to jump on the podcast bandwagon. Are there people to whom you would advise to avoid podcasting and instead focus on another medium?
Opportunists who think that creating a podcast is a fast and easy way to make money, get famous, or anything else frivolous. You have to be passionate about what you are doing and do it because you love it. The majority of entertainment-based things are done because we all love it. It’s really no different than being in a band or acting. The percentage of people who can make a living from it is incredibly small, so you need to be dedicated. Like anything that gets popular, you have floods of people jumping in and saturating the market, so unless you are in it to win it, I would suggest focusing your energy in another hobby ;)
How has your position as a podcast host and a person of high authority, impacted your business, sales, and/or increased your opportunities? Can you share a story with us?
We don’t consider ourselves “persons of high authority”, but since we have had the podcast, and have seen it rise in popularity, we have had more opportunities come to us for bigger and better exposure of the brand. We have been offered opportunities to broadcast our show from big regional events similar to how radio shows may broadcast from concerts. We also have been in conversations with live event venues to take our show to a “live show” format and bill it as The Mangina Dialogues Live! stage show.
What makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or the content itself?
I think our podcast is unique because of the way we go about our interviews as well as the type of guests we are booking. It’s not just a comedy pod about comedy, or only talking to comedians. Sure, that’s a big part of it, but we are booking guests from all areas of entertainment. Sports Agents, hip hop artists, punk rock icons, adult film stars, all allowing our listeners an inside look into their lives, experiences, and careers. I think one of our core strengths is being highly skilled at getting to know our guests and extracting comedic content out of their life experiences, leading to funny and often touching, discussions.
Where can our readers find you on Social Media?
Is there a specific high-value guest (obviously still living) that you would love to interview on your show, and why? He or she might just see this when we tag them!