If you don’t ask your listeners to do anything, they won’t do it. They will just sit by and passively listen. Engage your audience and prospective listeners on social media. Be very active and available.
As part of my series of interviews about “How to Become the Center of Influence Through Podcasting”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan Vet is a serial entrepreneur, speaker and author. He hosts The Dental Experience Podcast, a podcast focused on creating experiences for patients and team members in the dental industry. Ryan is the founder of Boon, a platform that connects licensed dental professionals to temporary work opportunities on-demand.
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?
As a public speaker, many audience members ask for follow-up content after presentations. This can range from requesting to be on an email newsletter to inquiring about books written. Last year, after multiple courses I presented in customer experience and marketing, I was approached by audience members inquiring as to whether or not I had a podcast. After hearing the question enough, I sought out to launch The Dental Experience Podcast to help provide continual education and content for attendees of my courses.
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
Honestly, I think I have learned more while interviewing guests on my show than my listening audience. It is so enlightening hearing different guest’s perspectives and share their expertise in certain subject matters. In order to be an engaged host that can direct the conversation in a manner that is exciting for the audience, you must be a very active listener. This has allowed me to intently listen, summarize big ideas and internalize concepts more quickly than many other forms of education.
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?
Have a prep-call with your guests and do not surprise them. On one of my earliest episodes, I somehow stumbled upon the fact that my guest had been a contestant on Cash Cab. I brought that fun fact up and he absolutely loved that. However, not all guests are okay with surprises. Fast forward several episodes I had another guest I shared what I thought was a funny story about the first time we had met after one of their lectures. Well, this individual did not like surprise questions, and it caught them off guard, but they did not say anything at the time. Instead, after the episode was live, I received a note about how they hated the episode and couldn’t get past the intro. All of that to say, have a quick prep call with your guest, talk with them after the recording to make sure they were okay with how everything turned out and then, when possible, let them hear the episode before it premieres.
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
I launched The Dental Experience Podcast in the fall of 2018. We premiered with a 13 episode season one and then took a month hiatus to assess the success. After realizing that we had stumbled onto a niche audience that loved the podcast, we renewed for a 22 episode season 2 and got right to work recording. Season 2 debuted in April of 2019 and we release new episodes every Monday.
What are the main takeaways or lessons you want your listeners to walk away with?
At the end of every episode, the goal is for a listener to walk away with practical tips to grow their dental practice through creating experiences worth sharing.
Ok super. Now let’s jump to the core of our discussion. You are a very successful podcaster. Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast? Specifically, we would love to hear lessons from your experience about the best ways to:
Podcaster Influencer, Ryan Vet of The Dental Experience Podcast shares the best ways to:
1) Book Great Guests:
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. The worst thing someone can do is say no. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people actually would say yes, especially when we were just starting and hadn’t even launched yet. It is also extremely important to make it easy for someone to come on your show. I have a 2-page, bullet point overview of what to expect when on the show, what we need from the guest (picture, bio, etc.), how to use Zencastr, our recording platform, etc.
2) Increase listeners:
Utilize your guests’ network to grow your own network. When you are first starting off, it can be difficult to grow your listener base, email list, social media following, etc. Be sure to give guests easy-to-use marketing materials for them to promote their appearance on your show. Additionally, engage your audience with interactive segments and areas where they can write in or participate with the podcast.
3) Produce in a Professional Way:
Audio quality is everything. And it does not have to cost a fortune. It is worth investing in good sound equipment for you as the host. If you have your guests live in your studio, make sure your studio is comfortable and outfit with the needed equipment. If you are doing remote interviews, utilize a platform that records high quality audio and require your guests to have high quality audio. Personally, I use Zencastr but I’ve been on podcasts that use Skype, Zoom and many others. Find what works best for you and your guests and make it easy for your guests to have high quality audio. Also, I have used Fiverr multiple times to create intros and outros as well as fulfill other audio needs.
4) Encourage Engagement:
Ask and be active. If you don’t ask your listeners to do anything, they won’t do it. They will just sit by and passively listen. Engage your audience and prospective listeners on social media. Be very active and available. Then, on your episodes, be sure to have clear call to actions. Whether you want a listener to rate you or subscribe, you just need to ask. If you don’t, chances are they will just listen and move on. Another way to create engagement is for your guests. Have your guests offer specials or provide a giveaway if they represent a product or service. Use a unique link or coupon code so that they can track the success of your podcast. This is also a good reading for you as to how bought in your listeners are.
5) Monetize Your Show:
There are so many different ways to monetize your podcast. From a pre-roll commercial to charging guests, you can monetize in a number of ways. What I did for the second season of our podcast was great a sponsorship sheet. It clearly outlined several different levels of sponsorship. As we try to let our podcast be more organic and not as salesy, we do not sell traditional ad spots. Instead, we charge for an interview if the guest is trying to sell something. We also charge for special segments that are brief interviews but are not necessarily commercials. It is a good way to break up an episode with something education and informative.
From your vantage point what are some of the reasons why a person should consider creating a podcast series?
You could start a podcast series for any number of reasons. The one reason you should not try and start a podcast is to try and sell people things. You will lose listeners before you even start. However, if you have a great story, know a lot of interesting people to interview, have a unique angle or anything in between, you should consider starting a podcast. Additionally, if you already have an existing network and audience that you are trying to engage with a different form of content, podcasting is a great way to go. I’ve had great success podcasting in a niche. Listeners tune in week after week and gain practical insights into growing their dental businesses. If you are in a niche industry that is hungry for fresh content and no one is podcasting, jump on 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?
If you’re podcasting to jump on the bandwagon, your motives are all wrong and your listeners will hear right through that. Unless you’re already an influencer, jumping into a generic space like business or entrepreneurship will be tough. However, taking a unique approach on a niche or a special angle for interviewing could create nice new podcasts that have not yet been done.
Video is also a huge opportunity. If you are heavily product, beauty, fashion or design based, use social media and video to attract your audience. If your business is based on selling visual appeal or your topics surround how something looks, leverage channels like YouTube to share your message.
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?
For years, I have had the opportunity to speak to audiences on topics like marketing, customer experience and entrepreneurship. However, having the podcast has opened the door to so many more speaking opportunities. It has allowed me to write in magazines as well as be invited on other podcasts and panels. More than that, I have met some incredible people through the podcast. I met an investor for one of my businesses through our conversation and also gained one of my biggest consulting clients after having them on as a guest. So really, the guests have contributed to more opportunity and business than even the podcast itself.
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?
Our podcast focuses on drive-time length episodes. Most clock in right around 27 minutes which is perfect for a roundtrip commute for most dentists. We are a niche podcast in dental that brings a lot of guests in that are not from the dental space. This allows listeners to hear fresh perspectives on business, leadership, finance, marketing and customer experience. You can easily apply lessons learned in restaurants, airlines and other businesses that apply to dentistry. Others in the space bring in clinical experts that are already known in the industry. As a result, the content is not always fresh. The other thing I do is I try to let the guests shine. My listeners are not really listening for me, they are listening for the content that my guests bring.
Where can our readers find you on Social Media?
Some of the biggest names in Business, Marketing, and Entertainment read this column. 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 if we tag them!
In most of my lectures on customer experience and half of our podcast episodes I reference incredible customer experience from both Delta Airlines and Chick-fil-A. It would be awesome to have Ed Bastian or Dan Cathy on the show to talk about how their massive companies can still have time to care about the individual and how they train their teams to create experiences worth sharing for all of their customers.
Thank you so much for sharing your insights!