On Being A Podcast Guest (And A List Of Podcasts I’ve Been On)
Full list of podcasts are down below, with more added as I go along.
As I have been growing Eden Green Technology (no pun intended), BuzzShift, and my own career arc, my friends and colleagues have been encouraging me to tell as many people as I can about those stories of growth. To that end, my marketing team has pushed me into podcasts. No, not hosting one, because I believe that would be an abject failure (but never say never). Rather, they believe that great stories deserve good campfires, so to speak. And what are podcasts other than digital campfires — self selecting audiences, sitting in relative darkness, listening to good storytelling, right? (Also, for those who know me, this is totally on-brand for me as a guy who loves the outdoors, and who even has a rooftop tent permanently installed on his truck).
Having been on half a dozen of them now (and growing, thanks to Trevor and Zaq), I am starting to see patterns on how to be a good podcast guest, and respecting their campfires, so to speak. All while telling your story in a meaningful way, that resonates to their particular audience. So, what are some lessons learned from being on these podcasts?
Know Their Audience
Different campfires have different people around them. As in, a group of 8 year olds on their first campout, gathered around a fire, are probably not the ideal audience for a gore-filled horror story. In that scenario, you would measure the success of that “storytime” by how many kids actually sleep through the night in their tents.
Likewise, the main metric of success for podcasters is downloads. A “stream” is basically a progressive download, but it is a download nonetheless. People don’t usually download a podcast unless they are followers of the podcast, or they were directed there by someone else. So, the first question you should ask is, “who is downloading your podcasts?” What are they listening for, and what do you (the podcast host) want to communicate to them? Those listeners could be new entrepreneurs, business founders with a couple of years under their belt, or industry colleagues looking for new ideas in their space. All of them have different needs, and different levels of understanding, so I try to tailor my story and interactions with the host to the audience’s perspective. The more the audience gets value, the more they (and others like them) will listen and share.
Know Your Story
I recently had a friend tell me, “you’ve got an amazing life and career story with all these different chapters, and now you are running Eden Green. If you could distill it down to one message, and in one sentence or thought, what would it be?” It made me pause and think, not only about the message, but also about the importance of a clear, concise storyline, with the big message resonating throughout the entire story.
Pixar is one of the best at doing it, but they spend months of honing down a narrative so that, even with all the twists and turns, it is never lost, even to a 7 year old. The same goes for my (and your) story. I’ve spent a similar amount of time thinking through, and writing down, the key elements to the Eden Green story (and my own career arc), to the point where it comes out naturally and authentically. I’ve also made it a point to have it in bite-sized nuggets, suitable for quotes and audio call-outs, so that my hosts can easily cut-paste and share it out.
It sounds self-important, and even a little prescribed, but what you are really doing is actually being a good guest when you do all that pre-work. I know the hosts want to share it out effectively, so I want to make it easier for them. And I know that when their listeners tune in, both new and returning, they want something mentally digestible. The net result is that their “campfire” grows in size, beyond my one-time interview, and that brings me a lot of joy to know I contributed to that growth.
With the rise of remote work, and a home office setup, I believe professionalism is even more important to set myself apart from others, and to set myself up for success. Interviews are no exception. The background, and the sound quality matter quite a bit when it comes to video interviews, and podcasts (which are increasingly recorded with both audio and video for expanded distribution. See Joe Rogan.)
Fortunately, my friends over at Kitcaster have a whole podcast tool/equipment rundown on what you need to be a good guest (and a good host) for podcasts. The quick and dirty: get a good mic — it makes ALL the difference in the world, even if it is just a USB-C compatible one that plugs into your laptop. Bonus points for a separate webcam, and lighting.
I purposefully asked my team if there was such a thing as “too many podcasts”. They were quick to say no. Every podcast host has a slightly different target audience, as well as pool of listeners. There is some overlap amongst the most notable podcasters, but for the most part, everyone has their own distinct “campfire”. So, I’m trying to sit down and tell my story in a lot of different podcasts. Along the way, I’ll be posting these podcasts here as well, so give them a listen and tell me how well (or badly) I’m telling my story at different campfires.
List of podcasts and articles
as of 06/25/21
Croptalk (podcast) — “We should be looking to other industries to see what the future horizon for controlled environment ag may hold, and how to avoid problems that plague those other industries.”
Futurized (podcast) — “My takeaway is that vertical farming is poised for growth, and I don’t just mean that as a pun. There are legitimate reasons why foodtech is exploding right now. Food and Ag coupled with tech is necessary, exciting, and is becoming scalable.”
Leadership With Heart (podcast) — “I think if people had more grace in the business setting businesses would be more robust in the long-term.”
Asian Journal (article) — “26 Governors, Former US Officials Condemn Anti-Asian Hate In Bipartisan Letter”
Startup Happy Hour (podcast) — “We know the future of food is going to be in this densely grown environment, where you are cutting down on the food supply chain from 2000 miles to 20 miles to 2 miles. If that’s the future, then that’s exactly where [Eden Green] is perfectly positioned to be.”
The Spoon (article) — Eden Green Technology Nabs $12M for Its Vertical Farm-Greenhouse Combo
Cheddar (live interview) — “Eden Green Technology Aims to Revolutionize Agriculture with Vertical Farming”
Dallas Business Journal (article) — “North Texas company specializing in ‘vertical farming’ technology lands $12M”
Urban Farm Podcast (podcast) — “Your core values dictate the “why” of your daily, monthly and yearly decisions, they dictate how you hire, which vendors you work with, and how you respond to market trends. Core values are your anchor point, your north star.”
Organic Gardener (podcast) — “One of the trends that has been accelerated [by the pandemic] is that we are seeing all these breaks in the supply chain. The solution is locally grown: accessible.. consistent…and safe.. but season agnostic at scale.”
Eco Insights Podcast (podcast) — “The way we combat food insecurity is by going local. Accessible, affordable, consistent and safe basic foodstuffs. And you can only do that if you produce at scale. Community gardens, co-ops and farmers’ markets all have their niche, but they can’t be expected to serve the broader public who may or may not have the ability to access those. Our greenhouses can help solve for that.”
Point 01 Podcast (podcast) — “Demand for local, nutritious food is going, population growth is headed up, but the supply of fresh, readily accessible food sources like vegetables and leafy greens is going down. That delta is what we want to fill.”
Switchback Podcast (podcast) — “From building the future of digital agencies to now working on the bleeding edge of vertical farming and transforming the way we can feed people, Eddy offers the never-told story of his journey and one that will be encouraging and enlightening to all people whether they be entrepreneur, aspiring entrepreneur or just interested listener.”
Dr. D’s Social Network (podcast) — “[Eden Green] was built for feeding people at scale, tens of thousands of people, all from one greenhouse… so that they can live and thrive. That’s the vision.”
Sustainability Explored Podcast (podcast) — “I think local means consistent. So, if it’s located right next door to you or a mile down the road or right next to a distribution center or near a store, it’s not sitting in a supply chain warehouse for days. There’s no bottleneck in terms of a processor. It could be bagged and distributed right then, in a matter of 24 to 48 hours.”
Vertical Farming Podcast (podcast) — “I want us to be able to thrive on volatility. Most people thrive on stability. I’m training our staff, I’ve focused our team, our company to thrive in chaos.”
Protocol.com — The Future Of Food (news article) — “[Grocers] not going to compete on mops and flowers, so if the grocery stores don’t figure it out first the Amazons will — and if the Amazons don’t figure out first, the DTCs will.”
Sustainability Now (podcast) — “We want to redefine ‘locally grown’ so that it means consistent (year-round, season-agnostic), accessible to everyone, and safe from pathogen outbreaks and disease.”
Texas A&M University — Pandemics And Bio-Security (blog) — “there is now a moral imperative for lawmakers, local officials and leaders to ensure that this framework is in place, and that it is being actively supported and encouraged. It is a shift from a supply chain that rewards the merchants, to one that is truly focused and prioritizing the end consumer.”
Earth 911 Sustainability (podcast)
Just Go Grind (podcast)
Minding Your Business (podcast)
School For Startups (podcast)
Compassionate Capitalism (podcast)
Casually Creative (podcast)
Watermark Church — Parenting (podcast)