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Reflecting on Our First 100 Episodes at TankTalks

This post was written by Matt Cohen, Host of the Tank Talks Podcast.

This week I released the 100th episode of the Tank Talks Podcast.

While it’s still hard to believe that I have released a hundred episodes, I took a break to reflect on the beautiful roller coaster of a journey podcasting has been. Since releasing the first weekly episode on May 21 2020, I’ve experienced a few highs and several lows that I wanted to share.

Here are the Top 10 things I’ve learned in these first 100 episodes:

1. Podcasting is an incredible way at developing speaking skills

Podcasting may be the best tool to help someone develop their speaking skills. I have always been a social person and could often handle conversations in public or on stage quite well. However, within the first few episodes I recorded, I started realizing how fast I spoke and how often I used fillers like ‘Um’ and ‘Ah’. After listening to myself speak the first few times which is very uncomfortable, I started focusing on slowing down my speech and focusing on avoiding using fillers in my sentences. I now feel more confident in my ability to hold more meaningful conversations.

2. Listening is harder than it sounds.

I find in today’s age and remote world, everyone is great at multi-tasking and focusing on multiple screens at once. However, when you’re interviewing someone on your podcast, it is incredibly important to turn off all notifications and distractions in order to make sure you are immersing yourself in the conversation. Active listening creates an instant rapport between you and your guest and helps you determine when to pull on a thread and when to move on to the next question or topic. So shut down your browser, turn off your slack and imessage notifications and focus on the guest.

3. Finding podcast guests is a never-ending battle

In the beginning, most podcast hosts scrap through their LinkedIn and Twitter Feeds to find guests for their show. However, you quickly realize how few people you can ask to be a guest on your show. After running out of options, I realized I had to make signing up to be a guest when doing cold outreach more simple and easy (i.e One-Click Checkout) in order to secure more guests. Over time I developed a guest speaker presentation and calendar sign-up page for guests to say YES to joining the show! I also make sure to reach out on all forms of social media no matter what!

4. Stay ahead of your podcast release schedule

I have never been great at planning far in advance and booking guests is just one of those things I struggled with early on. Scrambling to find a guest at the last minute was a common occurrence in the first dozen episodes. However, after finding a process that worked for booking guests, I was able to stay ahead of my schedule and book guests 3–4 weeks in advance. One lesson that I still rely on to this day is never let a week go by without reaching out to several potential guests because you never know when someone will cancel on you at the last minute. Scrapping Linkedin, Twitter and Newsletters for announcements is a great way to reach out to a guest to get them on the show.

5. Podcast is one of the best networking opportunities

In life, everything is about relationships whether personal or professional. Podcasting has been a fantastic way to build and expand my network. For every new podcast episode I record, my relationship with that guest becomes more personal and they are immediately integrated into my network. In fact, a lot of our guests have become helpful resources to our Founders at Ripple and new business contacts that I may come to rely on one day in the future. You never know what that new contact might mean for you, your business, or someone else in your network. You also may be one degree closer to that contact who could have a big impact on your life. #therippleeffect

6. The best way to improve your own podcast is to constantly explore everyone else’s podcast

I spend the majority of my free time walking my dog, driving to the cottage or just doing errands listening to other people’s podcasts. I am truly obsessed with listening and improving my own craft by studying other podcast host interview styles and structures. My favourite shows include All-in Podcast, 20VC, Acquired, Guy Raz, Venture Unlocked, and most recently Cartoon Avatars. You can learn so much by listening to other hosts and even potentially incorporate some of their styles into your own show.

7. Invest your time and your money wisely — Outsource!

If you listen to the first few episodes of Tank Talks, you will easily notice the quality of intros/outros and audio quality subpar. In the early days, I did all the recording, editing, social clips and bookings myself. I probably spent 6–10 hours a week managing the podcast. After realizing my time was better spent on more productive things, I started investing in finding help for my podcast. I quickly found the team at Agentbee Agency headed up by Kent Nichols and they have not only made my Podcast more enjoyable for our listeners but have given me hundreds of hours back a year that I can dedicate to more valuable initiatives.

8. Don’t worry about initial traction, it takes time, play the long game

When starting a podcast, everyone thinks they will immediately rack up thousands of downloads and sponsorship because its easy right? Well that just isnt the case for 99% of podcasters. Most podcasters fail to make it to 50 episodes, let alone 100! I’m reminded of this tweet by Harry Stebbings of 20VC and his answer for how long it took him to reach 1000 downloads (Answer: 300 Episodes!). Its a long game and the ones who can endure the pain and suffering the longest will reap the biggest rewards. But the most important thing I’ve realized is you have to love the journey more than the rewards in the short term or else you will never realize your full potential.

9. Leverage your past guest for future guest intros

I realized that the best way to increase my chances of landing future guests was by leveraging my past guests on the show. Creating a referral program whereby past guest can share their recent experience on your show with future guests is the easiest way to lock someone into doing the show. However, don’t push your luck, if your guest isn’t comfortable with any intros or wants to protect their relationship respect their decision and move on!

10. Podcasting is incredibly frustrating at times but also incredibly fun. Enjoy the ride!

Everyone knows the saying don’t judge a book by its cover. Well, the same can often be said for not judging a guest by their appearance. I can’t tell you how many times I jump into a recording expecting a guest to be lame or quiet and end up being proven completely wrong! Podcasting has been one of the most fulfilling and creative experiences I’ve started in my career. I love meeting people I never thought I’d meet and hearing stories I’d never thought I get to hear. It’s an incredible medium, and it’s important to have fun throughout your podcasting journey. If you’re not having fun, it’s way too big a time and effort commitment to endure.

Over these last 100 episodes, I can truly say I am OBSESSED with podcasting. I love listening to my own podcast over and over again and know that I can make it to 1000! So thank you for being along for the ride and I look forward to seeing you in the Tank again soon!

Give Episode 100 a listen! https://tanktalks.substack.com/p/episode-100-leaping-from-30k-feet

If you or anyone in your network would like to be a guest on our show, please reach out directly to matt@rippleventures.com

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