Branding Matters

Bobby Lehew - Learn the Ins & Outs of Podcasting

July 29, 2022 Branding Badass Episode 69
Branding Matters
Bobby Lehew - Learn the Ins & Outs of Podcasting
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Bobby Lehew the Chief Content Officer at commonsku.

As an industry leader, Bobby has won multiple PPAI - Promotional Products Association International awards.  And, as a former distributor, he ranked three times on Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing private companies in the U.S. Bobby has also appeared on Dale Denham’s #Online18 - a list of the promo industry’s most Influential Social Media Voices.

Bobby also co-hosts a podcast with Mark Graham called skucast - the  #1 podcast for entrepreneurs in the print and promotional product industry. 

Recently I was fortunate to be a guest on skucast, where Bobby and I had a great conversation about podcasting. So much so, that I invited him here today to continue that conversation and dig a little deeper. What’s different about this episode is instead of me interviewing Bobby, we thought it would be fun to interview  each other.

𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗯𝘆 𝗚𝗲𝗻𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸 - 𝗢𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗡𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮’𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝟰𝟬 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀.
From promotional products, custom uniforms, and clothing, to sports co-branding, web stores and warehousing - Genumark is your #1 partner for creating brand awareness. And being ISO certified – you can rest assured ethical sourcing and sustainability are front and centre. If you’re looking for help  with your next project, email brandingmatters@genumark.com

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Insta - @Branding_Badass
LinkedIn - Joelly Goodson
Website - BrandingMatters.ca

Joelly Goodson :

Hi I'm Joelly, your Branding Badass, and welcome to Branding Matters - a podcast I created and host to help you create brand equity. Branding Matters is brought to you by Genumark, one of North America's most trusted branded merch makers for over 40 years. Branded merchandise is one of the best ways to create brand awareness. Whether with your team or your fans, there's no better way to show your appreciation, connect with your audience and build community. Then combining thoughtful design with great products that tell your brand story. When you partner with genuine mark, you get more, more personalized service, more creativity, more innovative solutions. And more importantly, you get it all from a talented team of branding experts who have the experience and know how to make your job easier and best of all more fun. From promotional products, custom uniforms and clothing to sports co branding, web stores and warehousing Genumark makes it happen. And being ISO certified, you can rest assured ethical sourcing and sustainability are front and center. Genumarks big enough to matter, but small enough to care. So if you're looking for the right partner to help you create brand awareness, email brandingmatters@genumark.com to start your next project today. That's branding matters @ G.E.N.U.M.A.R.K. My guest today is Bobby Lehew, the Chief Content Officer at Commonsku - a cloud based CRM, and order management platform designed for the promotional products industry by promotional products experts. As an industry leader Bobby has won multiple PPAI awards. And as a former distributor, He's ranked three times on Inc magazine's Fastest Growing Private Companies in the US. Bobby also has appeared many times I might add on the online 18 a list of the promo industry's most influential social media voices. Bobby is also the co host of skew cast, the number one podcast for entrepreneurs in the print and promotional products industry. Recently, I was a guest on skew cast, where I was invited by Bobby to share my story and talk about my podcast. Bobby and I had a really great conversation and we talked a lot about podcasting. So I wanted to continue that conversation and invite him here today to dig a little deeper. What's different about this episode, is that instead of me asking Bobby all the questions, we thought it would be fun to interview each other. So I have no idea where it's gonna go. But I've no doubt it's going to be a ton of fun. And I'm really excited that you're here with us today. And I'm super excited that Bobby's here. So Bobby, welcome to Branding Matters,

Bobby Lehew:

Joelly, I can't believe I'm finally here. Thank you.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, thank you for joining me today. So this episode is gonna be a little bit different. You're gonna ask me questions, and I'm asking you questions, and hopefully it's going to help our audience learn a little bit more about podcasting. So let's get right into talking about podcasting. Right now. I did a little bit of research and there's about 2 million podcasts worldwide. What made you decide to launch a podcast and your podcast is called Skucast, right?

Bobby Lehew:

Skucast, that's right. Mark Graham, who's Commonsku's Chief Brand Officer and co founder started Skucast back in 2016. We've got a couple of 100 episodes under our belt since then, I was doing podcasting as well, back in that time was doing different podcasts. I had one for a business I was involved in. We both work together on a podcast in a nonprofit called Promo Kitchen. And so I've probably recorded close to 300 episodes at this time.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, so I don't think I knew that you had a podcast before. When did you start that? And what was it called?

Bobby Lehew:

It was early days. I mean, were 2014 15 Somewhere around there. And it was it was a funny podcast, it was called the five minutes marketer. And it was crazy idea. But well, we did. We had guests in every month through an Marketing Association that was a part of, and I was on the board. And we were in the business of marketing merchandise business. And so we had the speakers come in, they are already on top of their topic. So you have five minutes to make us smarter about your topic. And so it was funny, the speakers will come in to talk for 45 minutes. But then we would get them before or after their gig and have a five minute interview and it could have been around SEO, it could have been around anything that they were expertise was in. And that's what we used to share with our videos.

Joelly Goodson :

That's a long time ago. I mean, do you have a big listener base?

Bobby Lehew:

Oh, no. Now be too embarrassed to even know what that number was. But it was kind of more of the mechanics of doing it. The fact that one thing that we had going for us we knew our audience, we knew that we worked with marketing and communications professionals that was our client base. So we knew that the audience itself, they might not show up to talk about our expertise, but they would show up to listen to somebody for five minutes make broader about a particular topic. So the premise was actually pretty Good. And what you've learned, what I've learned is that really does take a commitment just like any other business venture you're gonna get into.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, for sure. So then Mark started it, what was the impetus for him starting the podcast?

Bobby Lehew:

It was an opportunity to sort of elevate the brand and merchandise and promotional products medium to a level of professionalism and discipline that we hadn't seen before. So it was an attempt to highlight people that were doing some really progressive things in the business. It was to bring entrepreneurs to the forefront who were doing interesting things to talk to leaders in the business. And it was really good format for innovative ideas, innovative thinking, anything that caught our curiosity in that area, or people that we would have the podcast, you could be running a billion dollar company, or you can be running a million dollar company, it didn't matter if you were doing something innovative in that space, we wanted to talk to you.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, and the audience was people in the industry?

Bobby Lehew:

Correct, in the promotional products industry. And the printed merch industry is reported numbers of around 26 billion, it's far bigger than that, when you consider branded merchandise in general, sports merchandise, things like we're in the multi billions, we're probably at least twice that if not four times the size. So it's a huge market. And what folks don't know is that there is a profession to it, there is a discipline to it. And that's what we were we've been trying to uncover and help explore.

Joelly Goodson :

I love it. That's great.

Bobby Lehew:

What about you? When did you start?

Joelly Goodson :

I started January 1 2021. So I'm a bit of a newbie, we were about a year into the pandemic. And the reason I started really was I did a presentation to this online women's networking group. It was about branding. And afterwards, there was a couple of women that reached out to me. And they were asking me if I did consulting, and I was like, No, I'm pretty busy. I don't have time. And I said, Why do you ask and they're like, they didn't know each other. But their stories were the same. And the stories were that we worked for a corporate company, and then COVID, we were laid off from our jobs and started our own business. And we know nothing about branding. And we need help. And so I thought, Well, okay, I can help you, I will charge you like, what do you need? And I thought I could just give him some sort of direction. And then I walked away from that. And I told my boyfriend about that. And I'm like, should I start consulting? You know, and add that to my plate of a million other hats that I was wearing. It's time. And then he jokingly said, oh, you should start a podcast because he listens to podcasts. And I was laughing. I'm like, Yeah, ha, ha. And then I'm like, maybe I will. Because I thought, Okay, well, if these are two women in Alberta that are struggling, and COVID is a global pandemic. And there was first entrepreneurship all over the world. I thought, there's a lot of people out there, and I was also seeing it more and more people were on social media. And I could tell people didn't really understand the concept of social selling or branding or anything. And I thought, Okay, well, maybe I got something here. You know, maybe I can help people on a global scale. And a podcast is a great platform to do that. I know what I know. But I know what I don't know. And so then I thought, all right, why don't I bring on experts from all over the world. And they can share their stories and provide some valuable branding tips to help the audience and so it just kind of snowballed, and then came up with the name branding matters, because it was that double entendre of all things to do with branding. So from a brand voice to brand identity to swag, right, and everything else in between. And then also how important branding is, if you're an entrepreneur out there, it's great that you know your business, but you really need to know what your brand is and what you stand for. And that is where branding comes in. So here we are.

Bobby Lehew:

Yeah, you know, in your initial question, you ask, you mentioned that there were over 2 million podcasts. I think implicit in your question is another question, which is, why start a podcast if there are 2 million podcasts out there? Aren't we oversaturated yet? And the answer, I think what you found is that you have an expertise that you discovered that people wanted to hear from you, and your market isn't oversaturated. So I think that should be encouraging to anyone who wants to start a podcast.

Joelly Goodson :

You know what, full disclosure, I think ignorance is bliss. I had no idea. I think even since I started in 2021, there's been a huge influx of everyday I hear about a new podcast, right? It's just like anything I do in life. Honestly, I just look straight ahead and go, right I just because if I were to start doing that, if I were to start looking at with that said, I did look up branding podcasts, like I looked up, okay, so what is out there, and then I listened to a few of them. And I realized I would listen to one and it would be all about branding, but it was really kind of stale, I guess, are very factual. And then I would listen to others, and they were very amateurish. They weren't really helpful. And so I really thought, Okay, you thinking about your brand? What is it that's going to make mine different other than my personality, but I want it to be fun, because I think you can learn through entertainment. I don't want to be too serious. But I want it to also be educational. But I mean, did you know I mean, I know you started not that long ago, but even then, did you look what else was out there that was sort of in the same genre as what you were doing?

Bobby Lehew:

No, I think largely because I learned a long time ago. The audience is what matters in the sense of everyone has an audience, like everyone's story has an audience and so that part propels me forward. I mean, why would a musician today start in the music business when music is so oversaturated, so they say, but everyone's got a story. Therefore every story has an audience. Now that is put together hindsight, right? You've kind of just like, you just kind of get into it. Because in a sense, you're like, I want to figure this out. It's almost like a complex problem to solve. And that's part of the curiosity and the passion, I think, the drive a lot of people forward with.

Joelly Goodson :

And I would say, you know, if I had any advice for any of the listeners who are thinking of starting podcasts, don't let that 2 million quantity scare you off. Because in any industry, people will say, Oh, my God, it's so competitive. There's always room if you have something to bring to the table that's unique and different. And that's helpful. And I agree with you about your audience. Everybody has a different message that they want to say, I mean, we're all different. And it's finding your tribe, and who you gel with and who you connect with. And that's a great segue, because that's really what branding is all about is finding your tribe and connecting with them. So I want to talk about personalities. You know, it's funny, you and I are both very passionate about podcasting. And we've talked a lot about it. And I think we have a lot of similarities in some ways, but we're also very different. And I think one way that we're really different than we've had this conversation is you've described yourself as an introvert, I think of myself as more of an ambivert, I think is what it's called introverted extrovert. So why do you think introverts make good podcast hosts?

Bobby Lehew:

I think it's surprising because introverts they prefer to work independently. And solitude can be a catalyst. So I also think that originally the voice is a very intimate medium. And for introverts, it was something that they can connect to without actually being visible. You know, in one sense, it's an incredible medium. I know my friend and handily speaks to 1000s of people. And I asked her one time, how can you look at an audience of 10 20,000 people when you're such an introvert and she said, I'm in my own world up there. And so in a sense, I think the reason why introverts tend to find podcasting as a helpful medium or something they can excel at is because it's a one to one conversation, and they people think that introverts are not social beings. That's totally false. It's a myth. Introverts are very social beings. They're just very intimate social beings. So a one to one conversation is their world. That's where an introvert thrives. But at the same time, there's something I want to ask you because an introvert also requires time to think. So this is not either or this is not a duality. It's not introverts are better or extroverts.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, yeah exactly. Right. Yeah.

Bobby Lehew:

And so an extrovert, for example, introverts burn a little slowly, they think, as an extrovert, stereotypically, extroverts think on the fly faster. So as an extrovert, did that help bring you to the realm of podcasting quicker, and give you the confidence to think I love talking to people? Let's do it.

Joelly Goodson :

That's a great question. I just want to back up for a second, I'm gonna answer your question, but I wanted to add to them. I don't know if you know this. But introverts make better networkers than extroverts. Did you know that? For sure, yeah. And so the reason being is because they are better listeners, because they are very good at keeping their mouth shut, and their minds open and their ears open. Right? And that's why you see in the room, maybe they're not talking but they're absorbing it. And when they meet someone, they ask a lot of questions. That is such a good skill when you're networking. I've learned a lot and I've changed a lot. But you know, the extroverts out there, and they're talking and talking about themselves. And me, me, me, me, me. And that's the worst way to be when you're networking, right? Best way to be is just ask questions. And so podcasting is the same through podcasting. I've learned to become a better listener, and close my mouth more. I mean, I'm talking now more because you and I are doing this together. But when I have guests on, I talk less, and I listen more. And I think that is what makes a good host because you want to have the platform to your guests. Does that make sense? Totally makes sense. I listened to an interview with Larry King on his interviewing style. And regardless of how you feel about him, he is one of the most famous interviewers of all time. How do you go from interviewing one day President the next day and astrophysicist, and the next day, a brain surgeon? And he was saying, how do you have expertise in those categories? You can't. So I think a lot of times, introverts, you're right, they listen intently, they formulate good questions. And because they formulate opinions, slowly, they're not quick to open their mouth about an opinion. I remember Larry King saying that friend of his said, your greatest strength as an interviewer, you were the dumbest person in the room. And that was true. And so he would ask questions like because he is he would say to the astronomer, I look up at the sky, and I see a black mass with sparkly beautiful dots in the sky. What do you see? It's a beautiful question, right? Because he doesn't know. So, you know, I think they both bring strengths, though. Something that I think extroverts bring strength to the game is with their spontaneous response in the spontaneity of the moment. So they both bring strengths. I think it helps to understand which is your strength, which is your weakness, and how you can double down on that. Yeah, I love that and you can grow and learn either way. You're someone who maybe is a bit more of an introvert and you have to because as we know, we sometimes have to carry the podcast, I would say one of my skills is I can make people feel at ease. I like to infuse humor. into the conversation. And by doing that you make the other person feel at ease. And then they're more comfortable because I've had some guests at the beginning that I can tell her maybe standoffish or not, there's a bit of a facade there. I like to break through that facade and get to the real person. That's a tremendous skill. Oh, well, thank you. I want to read you a quote. And I want to get your feedback on this. So here's a quote, introverts want to think about things before they articulate them out loud. Extroverts, part of the way they work it out is by talking it through, which is I think, similar to what you had said earlier, what do you think about that quote?

Bobby Lehew:

It's a great quote, because both examples, you can use those to your strength. So the way an introvert prepares for an interview is going to be different than an extrovert, an extrovert is probably going to lean more on their ability to have the spontaneous conversations, and to think in the moment, whereas an introvert is going to pre think a lot of what they're doing, before they get to the interview, completely different tone, completely different approach. But they actually both work, I think, if you formulate them in the right bucket.

Joelly Goodson :

Great answer. So do you always think before you speak, do you make sure that you formulate your thoughts correctly before you actually say them?

Bobby Lehew:

I wouldn't be human if I all the time, and I wish I did more. But on the whole, even now, as you and I are talking, there's a temptation to top each other's lines, right, you ask a question, I'm going to answer a question. We live in a society that doesn't like this blank space. And so there's a big part of me that always just wants to pull back and not play that game and think through my answers, but I'm like any other human, you know, I'm gonna answer right away. What did you think of that quote?

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, I thought it was bang on and I'm so guilty of a lot of times, I'll be having a conversation with a friend or someone and I'll be saying things. I'm like, no, no, no, hold on, I'm just kind of talking it through like, whereas I think introverts do that in their head, right? They'll go through it in their head, whereas I will actually say it out loud as I'm thinking it. And that's not what I'm trying to say. But I'll just kind of ramble on. And you know, what I really noticed it is when I listened back to my podcast again, you and I talked about editing, and we can talk about editing and why I think it's so important. You know, I add it for two reasons. One to make my guests sound great. And you mentioned earlier about the audiences The reason and why the audience is so important. And so I think editing is really being considerate to your audience and making sure that you're adding value of everything you're saying, right. And if there's any extraneous information, or the topic goes off, I edit it. And I add it, you know, when people have certain speed bumps, and then the other thing is, too is when I go into those stream of consciousness, but I actually do it verbally. I'll just take it out and get right to the point.

Bobby Lehew:

What else have you learned about the editing process? Like, why is it so important to you? I have noticed that it's really important to you, it is to me, too. So it's a loaded question. But why is it so important to you?

Joelly Goodson :

Because I feel like it's like creating art. And I feel like the podcast is a piece of art and ask any artist or a writer, why do you rewrite? Why do you edit? Yes, am I a bit of a perfectionist? I know it can't be perfect. But I listened back to my podcasts before I launch it two times, sometimes three, and I'll usually do it and then I'll go to the gym, and I'll listen. And when I'm at the gym, if I catch myself drifting off, because I'm bored of something, then I'm like, okay, if I'm drifting off, then my audience is scattered. So I make a little note on my phone, and I'll take that out. I want the listener to enjoy it from the second it starts until the very end, and I don't want to lose their attention because you can lose attention in a second with somebody.

Bobby Lehew:

Yeah. How do you answer the objection that an edited podcast is not a true representation of a spontaneous conversation?

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, I've been told that I've had people say to me, Oh, I don't edit my podcast, because I want it to be organic and authentic and real. And I've learned a lot. I think I went to the other extreme full disclosure, when I listened to some of my earlier podcasts. I did edit too much. And it didn't sound natural. And so that's a skill I've learned is keep the conversation sounding natural. And it's okay to throw in a few speed bumps every so often because you're right, that's a natural conversation. But I don't need a 32nd pause. Well, I'm talking right, so I can shorten that to a 10 second pause. So it's things like that, where you know what, you wouldn't even notice that I've even edited it. But what about you?

Bobby Lehew:

First of all, everyone edits, I don't care who they are. Everyone edits when you wake up every day, shower, shave you do with all those things. That's called editing. And we all edit when we show up for the world and editing even in a spontaneous podcast, even a podcast that says we're just going to pick three topics and talk about them today. There's still a form of editing because you look back at previous episodes, you want to do something a little better. You tweak things here and there. Every one edits thing that I love about editing is because we typically don't have talkers on our show. Like we don't typically have people who have just written a book. Yours is a little different. But we have entrepreneurs who are running a business they might be running a very large business are adamant they might be running small business, but they're not professional talkers. And so what happens is the human beings talk parenthetically, they start to talk about something and then they go another direction that happens all the time, same thing was story, they'll start to share a bit of their story. 20 minutes later, they'll remember a piece their story, and they'll put it back together again. And so editing, there have been times where I have pieced together a show. And you would never know that's how the linear conversation happened. Because when I piece it back together, it made a better story and remove the speed bumps. So editing is really, really important. I think the biggest challenge for you and I or anyone starting a podcast is how much time and energy you're going to pour into that, because that will determine your level of editorial control. Yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

I completely agree. I think it's so important. And me being a bit of a control freak and a type personality, I probably should get help and have someone else edit it. But sometimes I'll have a conversation, I'll ask a guest question. And then they go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. And they don't really answer the question and they say a bunch of things. It's not where I want to go. Well, then that I'll just take out because you know what, anyone who's listening right now, you're gonna laugh, but sometimes I sit and have a conversation with someone. And I already know when they're talking to me, I'm thinking in my head, I'm editing all your editing. Do you ever do that? Or no,

Bobby Lehew:

I do that. But again, it's for the entire conversation sake, I have had guests who have said, Bobby, you're going to have to help me because I know I ramble. And I'll need your help with that. I'm always like, don't worry about that. We'll cover that.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, that's, at the end of the other day, is what it is. It's I really do it to make my guests sound great. And I'm very conscious of my audience. And so I just want it to be enjoyable. I want it to be entertaining, but also informative. And I want the audience to be there the whole time. I don't want to lose them halfway or whatever.

Bobby Lehew:

So we talked about editing, what else do you think is an important ingredients? A good podcast?

Joelly Goodson :

There's a lot of things. I mean, sound is really important. Editing is really important. We already covered that. I think being a good host is making your guests feel comfortable. And at ease too. I love connecting people. I love promoting people. And so when I bring someone on and I invite someone onto my podcast, I want them to enjoy it. The best compliment I get is when a guest when we're done, and they go, that was so much fun. You know, and I love that. What do you think

Bobby Lehew:

I agree with you about the guests. And that goes far as to say that if you're starting a podcast, you're going to go through a cycle of many conversations with friends, hopefully, you're going to have 234 100,000 episodes, treat people like guests in your home and not as a means to an end. I think that can kind of happen. Because you'll be shocked at how what an intimate connection you can create with someone you when you have them on there. I think a couple of other key ingredients that we don't think a lot about is genre. So in the podcasting world, there were maybe 2 million podcasts out there, but there are so many sub genres now. So Rich Roll has a podcast where he talks for an hour or two hours, Lex Friedman can talk for two or three hours on a YouTube show, Krista tippet has these in depth conversations, they publish the unscripted version of the show as well as the edited version of the show. So there are just different styles. And just like any other kind of artistic format, know your genre know where you want to fit, play with genre, the one that one medium is what we're doing right now. And you may have three people on your show all the time. It's just, it's an interesting thing to know, John, you want to play with, we've talked about audience a little bit, the one thing that I learned that I didn't know getting into it about audience is that there's the listening audience. And then there's the audience beyond your immediate audience. What I mean by that is recently I had a guest on the show, she runs an $80 million company, and she was come out of nowhere, and a lot of people weren't familiar with her. And word traveled fast. And you have an audience, you have this podcast that serves a purpose to serve up an idea conversation to challenge or inspire people. But then you have these interesting little byproduct of the podcasts. And that is that other people get to connect with this person and get to know this person. So you don't really see the impact. We often look at listened. And we don't realize that a podcast has tremendous influence beyond just the number of listens that you have.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, that's interesting. I never thought of it that way. I like the way you describe that. I want to add to that, finding your job, but also being authentic. And I know that word is used so much these days, I find it's almost overused. But it's so true. Because I've talked to people where they're like, Yeah, I want to be the next Joe Rogan, why don't you just be the next you or just be the first. You know, like, I think a lot of people do aspire for that. We all have something special that we offer. It's really tapping into that. And then being yourself

Bobby Lehew:

I will say for those that are starting out in any artistic form mimicry is really important. People end up with the start out. If you're gonna learn to play the guitar, you're going to learn some tunes from some famous musician, you're going to learn some Dylan tunes, you're going to whatever but then you're going to evolve in your own style.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, another thing that's important, and again, this is just for me, so I'm curious to get your point, is research. I do a lot of research on my guests, and I had to guess recently actually, and she was just really happy and felt honored that I did that. I've told people before like I like to do my research and then in the research, I pick out things that I want to know more about. What do you think about that?

Bobby Lehew:

Totally, I think research is the I can't estimate its importance enough because you can tell when people show up and they don't really know their guests or they don't know their guests topic or they don't know what's going on, you can really tell. And I think there's an important warning flag. I think if you're more extroverted, I think you tend to lean on your ability to dance around a topic. If you're more introverted, you probably lean on your ability to research. So there's a balance in the two, that's where the caveat is, is that if you're going to produce, say, a weekly show, you have to know that you're going to have some episodes where you're going to do a heavy amount of research, some you're gonna have lighters research, but there's not going to be any show that you're not gonna have no research, like, it's gonna require stuffing. And research sounds heavy, but it's really just thinking through the conversation and the topics before you have and not so that you can create a scripted session with your guest. It's so that you think through the most important parts of the conversation.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, absolutely. When I do my research, and I ask the questions, I think what does the audience want to know about this person? I'm very strategic in my questioning, and I think the only way I can really ask good questions, if I know about my guests, and I know what their strength is, and I know the value that they're going to offer. You know,

Bobby Lehew:

Can I mention one more ingredient that we don't think about in terms of podcasts that I wish somebody would have told me and that is constrained? Every show has constraints, no matter who you are, you have constraints, some shows are so successful, they have executive producers, who can do some of the research who can help formulate the questions and do all those kinds of things. But every show has constraints, every podcast will have constraints. And so for example, we have a window of six to eight hours a week to produce the show. What I mean by that is, when you add up the timeframe, you have a 15 minute pre chat with guests, you have 30 minutes to prepare the questions, maybe an hour, if it's a really heavy topic or a really big subject, you have one hour to record, you have two to four hours of editing, that represents a six to eight hour window, which is about 20% of your week. And so knowing that I think really helps you produce a better show, it helps you realize I have constraints. I'm not going to be This American Life. But I'm going to produce show that I'm proud of within the constraints that I have. So I think that's helpful because people I think, get really frustrated when they start podcasting and they quit, you know, you say the 2 million podcasts that are listed. Now, how many of those are going to be an operation a year from now?

Joelly Goodson :

It's interesting that you say that, because so you do one a week, right? When I started, I was very ambitious. And I was doing one a week, all myself and I started to get burnt out. So I took a couple of months off last summer. And then I started Season Two in September, and my life got hectic. And I thought about quitting. But I was getting these messages from people every so often. And they're like, Oh, thank you, your podcast has helped me my business getting really great feedback. So I didn't want to leave. So I made a conscious decision to cut back to every two weeks. And that has made all the difference. You talked about constraints. Now I have the time I'm not super stressed. Because for me, it started off as fun. And when it stopped being fun, then that's when it was going to be over. And so I didn't want to lose that fun. And so now I've been able to maintain it. And I'm getting some help now. Which brings me to my next question. What do you love best about podcasting?

Bobby Lehew:

It's the quick natured way of digging deep into a topic. And we talked about introverts love to explore the depth of a topic. And I think that's what I enjoy the most. I enjoy one on one conversation. You know, if I go to a party, where there's 50 people in the room, I just paralyzed, paralyzed because your Shire guy in private and also just because I prefer one to one convo, the minute you open up to other people, then it gets more awkward, right.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that too. Honestly, I can work a room, but I love the one on one conversation, too.

Bobby Lehew:

Yeah, I think that's the thing I enjoy the most. But typically, in the business world, there are a lot of platitudes. There are a lot of surface things. It's hard to get to the depth of a topic and a podcast gives you an opportunity to suddenly get to the depth like everybody knows when they show up, you're going to be getting the depth of a topic. That's what I love the most. What do you love the most? Yeah, it's my favorite thing to sit down with interesting, smart people about a topic that I'm super passionate about. And, you know, I get this one hour conversation where we can sit and just like we're doing right now, and I love doing that. And don't forget, when I started, we were in lockdown. So these were the only people I was talking to other than a kid sometimes and my boyfriend, right? So I would look forward to sit down having a nice conversation. But I have learned a ton of things about branding and about business just because all my guests have been great. So yeah Yeah, you're the number one student. Right?

Joelly Goodson :

Exactly.

Bobby Lehew:

I will say this too. It's cliche, but everyone has a story. But what's really rewarding is when you just hung up with a pre chat with somebody for podcasts, we're gonna record and you think you're gonna have a topic that's over here and then suddenly you should talk with him you realize you have an entirely different topic, because you might have a scripted idea of what the conversation should be about. But then you find out and I'd love to ask this question in a pre chat. What are you passionate about that you You haven't talked about yet, like what's on your mind. And then suddenly you realize, oh, they just open up this amazing topic that they're really passionate about, which is akin to somebody who just wrote a book about something, because then they really can unlock and share. Everyone's got a story. Probably the most rewarding thing is being able to talk one week to somebody running a billion dollar company, as I mentioned earlier, and the next week talking to somebody running a $2 million company. And they both have fascinating stories.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, every episode, I sort of have a theme. And I try to bring on people from all different industries, because really, if I were to just stick to marketing people, and all they were talking about was branding and things you need to do, people will get bored super fast, right. And I know that so I wanted to open it up. So I've had all these different people from all different industries and backgrounds and all over the world. So it never gets boring, but then all under the umbrella of tying it into a brand or branding, which is really important. So you mentioned about a pre chat. When I first started, I used to do a pre chat with my guests than I had some guests tell me that no, I don't do the pre chat. I just get right into it. So I was like, okay, and then I stopped doing that. How important is the pre chat? And how often do you do that?

Bobby Lehew:

Depends on your show depends on your guests, it depends on their expertise. So for example, anyone that we have on Skucast can show up and talk about sales, or marketing or branded merch, anyone can do that. But they haven't like some folks have just written an entire book where they spent 1000s of hours pouring their ideology into this book, anyone that has done that already comes prepared for an interview, you know, you hear this a lot, the whole idea of a podcast feels very spontaneous. The reason I love doing a pre chat, because I'm not talking to talkers, I'm talking to folks who are actually really good at running their business. Maybe they're not great communicators, maybe they haven't just written a book about it. And so they haven't codified their thoughts. So I like to do a pre chat for two reasons. One is to discover what I don't know about them that we could talk about. And the second reason is to give people who are uncomfortable talking, some tracks to run on. And I always tell them that we can go off road and likely will go off road every time. But the tracks help people feel comfortable. And I want the guests to feel comfortable. So that's why I do a pre chat.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, and have you ever heard anybody say no?

Bobby Lehew:

I can remember one or two, one. In this case, he'd already been on a big popular show, and then a few others, and he'd done it, you know, many times, so he was already prepared for this conversation. But for the most part, everyone wants to do pre chat. Let me also stress this is also about editing. So you can either edit a one and a half or one hour episode afterwards and spend a tremendous amount of time doing that. Or you can pre edit, which is what a pre chat is about. It's like instead of me spending an hour and a half discovering where the real conversation is, let's talk about what's important before we get on, that enables us to have a 30 minute show a faster editing process. And to just produce them quickly. The pre chat is not only about helping your guests get prepared. It's also about minimizing your editing process post production.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, wow, that's interesting. So would you recommend it then?

Bobby Lehew:

Totally depends on the show. If you're a show where you're going to have authors and writers and speakers on the circuit, they're going to come in, they don't preach as if your show where you're gonna have folks that are not familiar with showing up and talking about their work all the time, then approach that would be necessary.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay. Yeah, no, I think that's great advice. Which brings me to another question. How do you find your guests and for your podcasts? I mean, if you do one a week, how do you find your guests?

Bobby Lehew:

We're really fortunate in that we have kind of an embarrassment of riches, as one of my colleagues like to say, because we have a huge network of clients. And because the format is celebrating progressive thinkers, and we don't have limitations on the size of the company or anything like that. It's more about fascinating stories that are helping lead the industry forward. And it's less a matter of who do we find this week and more a matter of now we have 52 episodes, and I have 100 people on my list. The challenge is this is only one part of our marketing experience and branding podcast. So it's only one part of the work that entire entire team is doing. And I need to add that that Sanya and other people on our team are doing work on this podcast. And so it's not always that easy that because you have a long list, it doesn't make your job a lot easier, really. But if you have one, one or two challenges, either you're struggling to find folks or you have folks and you're trying to winnow that list down to the most important people, but a branded podcast serves a unique purpose. Like it's not my hobby, right? The podcast has to drive business forward, it has to drive the conversation forward. How about you?

Joelly Goodson :

That's a great answer. When I first started, I had some referrals from some people. I literally wrote a list of my dream team or my dream list of who I wanted on. I've had almost all of them on. Some took a little bit more work to get. Most people have said yes, as I've grown, I started getting people reaching out to me, and I didn't expect that which was really interesting in the sense that at first I was really flattered and I was like, Oh, you want to be on my podcast. Whoa, okay. And then I realized that as podcasts have been growing in popularity, there's businesses out They're and that's all they do is fine podcast for guests beyond right? I get now like at least one or two a week, if not three weeks of someone saying to me, Hey, this person would be really good for your podcast, you know, I'm still very flattered. But I also have to be true to my brand. And I have to be true to what I'm trying to accomplish with my podcast, it has to has to fill a need as far as not something I've already talked about, unless there's a different angle, and then who the person is. And so this is where I think about my audience again, is Will my audience get the value from this person coming on your discretionary? Right? I'm have to be because it has to be in alignment with what I'm trying to achieve. You know, you asked me about what makes a good podcast? What would be the some advice that you would offer someone who is looking to start a podcast? And this is sort of a two part question. What do you think is more important for a successful podcast? Do you think it's the guest? Or do you think it's the host?

Bobby Lehew:

I don't think it's dichotomous like that. I don't think it's an either or I think it's a blend of both. And to your question about what advice would you have for someone? Let me continue on the first one, though, you know, most depends on the episode, right. Some episodes the hosts may have to like you said earlier, you said that a host sometimes might have to carry the episode a little more than the guests might. But in terms of what is being expressed, I always feel like the guest is certainly more important from a standpoint of their the guest right, but it's not dichotomous, like the host is equally as important. Let me ask you that. What do you think? Most your guests?

Joelly Goodson :

You know, it's interesting, because when I first started, I thought it was all about the guests. And I thought realistically, nobody knows who I am. And who's this chick that started this podcast. But if I have, you know, what the beginning I have the head of Snapchat on I think if I have these kind of big brand names, or these famous people, it would appeal to an audience and get them to come on. So I do think there is that recognition factor that has helped when I've had guests on with that said, I've had some guests on that I thought were going to be the big famous stars and the podcast didn't go quite the way I wanted. And then I've other people who were sort of not necessarily as well known, but did super well. So now that I've been doing it for over a year, but a year and a half, I agree with you. I think people are coming to my podcast and subscribing and listening. I hope as much to hear me as they do to hear the guests right and hear the whole story together. And the feedback I've gotten as people like the humor and the lightheartedness of what I bring to the table, but then also the advice that my guests brings. And yeah, so it's kind of like chemistry. So I think when there's chemistry there between the host and the guest, it just creates this magic or this successful episode.

Bobby Lehew:

Let us go to your other question. What advice would you give someone who's starting out?

Joelly Goodson :

I think, do it. First of all, don't let everything we've talked about discourage you, if you want to start a podcast, I think you should. And I've had people ask me that. And I've said to them, like, figure it out what it is that you're trying to accomplish, don't just do it, because everybody has a podcast and you want to start a podcast and you just want to get on there and ramble and talk because you won't get any listeners, you'll bore people, it won't work. But if you have a message, I think whether it's with guests or by yourself, and you feel that there's a place out there and podcast world where people want to hear what you have to say or want to learn what you want to teach or what your guests want to teach, go for it. And then really hone in on your audience, really be specific who your audience is, you know, they talked about niching it down, you know, it's finding out what they're interested in, and how you can help them just do it. But we really, really specific on what your intention is and your purpose.

Bobby Lehew:

Yeah. And the other thing I would add to those three starting out is that any artistic form that you experience that is really impactful often is processed spontaneously. But as podcast, it's actually a lot of work. As you well know, it's a lot of work, be prepared for that. And just know that you're going to put a lot of work into it. And to that end, iterate quickly, you're going to put yourself on a deadline. That's one of most important things, hourglass talks about that a lot. He said, put yourself on a deadline, you're going to do shoddy work until you do good work and you're going to fail publicly. That's something you just need to be aware of. And you're going to iterate as you go along. And if you're working in a teaming of a branded podcast, the thing that I also encourage, make sure your team knows it's a working lab. This is not a finished product, every episode is an iteration on top of the previous episode. And you'll keep learning that way. If you have a team and I thankfully do have a team that's very gracious about that, then you will have a successful show and then a couple of things one with guest, a guest always has something to sell. And that's okay. You don't have to make that a sticking point you can actually help them promote that and then move on to other topics. And the last thing is a branded podcast has a job to do. Just make sure that you understand what the job is that you're there to do, and help fulfill that job. But in a way that also appeals to the audience.

Joelly Goodson :

Mm hmm. I gotta ask you this. What is it branded podcasts? And what's the difference between a branded podcast and any other kind of podcasts?

Bobby Lehew:

Well, I think every podcast in a very generalized sense is a branded podcast, but there are a lot of folks that get into a hobbyist. Hey, I love literature and I want to start a book club a podcast right starts around the hobby, where it's a branded pod Cast starts with an ambitious goal to help propel the organization forward. And Brandon podcast. It just has other initiatives other than I'm going to scratch this itch because I really like talking about music. So that's the biggest difference. A better distinction is probably between a hobbyist podcast and a brand new podcast.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, you know, speaking in that same vein, as far as branded podcasts, how do people monetize on podcasting? Because it is a lot of work.

Bobby Lehew:

Yeah, obviously, sponsors, we can easily have sponsors for the podcast, we made a choice not to, for our particular podcast, we have sponsors in many other areas. So it's not a question of us being anti sponsorship at all, it just we sort of wanted to leave this one very editorial. So we wanted to make sure that it wasn't heavily leveraged by any other voices that were coming in trying to influence the direction of podcasts, it's still a business podcast is still has business objectives. But we have chosen time and time again, to not do that. I mean, we won't we could change your mind next month. And suddenly, I have a sponsor, but obviously sponsors are the best way to monetize podcast, but I'm out of my depth, because we haven't done that and I think you have.

Joelly Goodson :

The difference is you're a business podcast, you're part of Commonsku and this is sort of a different entity of Commonsku. Whereas I'm an independent person who is just trying to help people. But ultimately, as my podcast has grown, there is value there, and people are now seeing the value and they want to be a part of it. So that's good, but it takes time.

Bobby Lehew:

And let me let me add this. And I'll stress this because I think it's really important to understand that monetizing podcast doesn't mean you're getting a check from somebody all the time, either. So you brought up the fact that we have a podcast that serves the comments cube community, the more people listen to the podcast and get inspired and learn something and propel their business forward, guess what, the more licenses they buy for their software, because they're growing. So even though you might not be depositing a check from a sponsor on the podcast, if you're helping people learning grow, they're growing and buying more your product. So I think it depends on perspective.

Joelly Goodson :

100%. And, you know, it's all about content marketing, right. And when I started, I didn't have my impetus for helping people was a passion project of mine, I didn't even think about the money part of it. I'm like, Oh, this can help people. And then it became like, Oh, my God, I've totally lost my train of thought. I'm sorry, I completely went out my love it. I went out my head, I was thinking about something when you were talking, and now it's gone. That's terrible. So it's not terrible. It's really bad. Oh, I know what I was gonna say. So yeah, so it's all about content marketing says that, yes, I wanted to help people. And that was my passion. But then also, you know, I talk a lot about during my podcast, and when I work with my clients about brand awareness, right. So it's a great way to grow your brand awareness with your audience. And my audience, because I saw swag is business owners and CEOs. And so I'm creating more brand awareness around what I'm doing. And ultimately, that's building my client base on a extra way, right. So you're sort of monetizing, but maybe not directly, but indirectly by doing that, so that was sort of my point of doing that. And that's why I think why more and more people are having podcasts. I may notI edit that part out, I might keep it

Bobby Lehew:

There you go. Just show people the example.

Joelly Goodson :

If you were to launch Skucast today, would you do anything differently? And if so what would that be?

Bobby Lehew:

I would have fretted less about limitations embrace them earlier, the thing that I've realized talks about this a lot is they always have taste. And anytime you do something, you're always going to want it to be better. Because your taste grows as you produce a better product, I would have played with variety. Early on, we've played with variety recently, with reading an article instead of having a guest right? When we close, I have a thing we call open mic where we ask the community questions, and I'm reading those answers back. And that's a different play on variety. So we'll publish that episode tomorrow. And I'm going to record it right when we end here. That's it play with a variety a little bit, you might have started out thinking you're gonna do a one to one, head to head interview. And you might turn that into a group thing you never know, just play with it earlier. We didn't list analytics earlier. And there are tools now that can show you how many listens you have, when people are dropping off, I would have done that a little earlier, I would understand what we talked about is that a business has multiple purposes. And then finally, I keep going back to this point, but I think is really important. Understand the difference between spontaneity and original force. Spontaneity is what people think of when they listen to a podcast. But when you listen to the most successful podcasts that are out there, they spent hours producing the show hours upon hours upon 3040 120 hours on a show to get it down to that 2030 minute conversation and they still preserve the power of original force. So understand the difference between spontaneity and original force. What about you?

Joelly Goodson :

That's a great answer. I love that. It's interesting. I don't know if I would do anything different only because I've learned as I go. I mean, I could say I would edit differently, but I don't know how else I would have learned other than just doing right. I've learned so much but it's been through my mistakes and by listening, right? I'm happy with the way it's gone. For all my criticisms of myself. You'd think I'd change everything. do everything differently, but I don't know I,

Bobby Lehew:

I hear your answer. And I think what you might be saying too, is that you've made iteration a natural part of your muscle that you like to exercise. And so that's why it's hard to find out what would I do differently? You're editing all the time. You're like improving and iterating on the podcast all

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, actually, you know, what I would have done the time. differently is I go back and I listened to one of my very first podcast, my first two or three, and I had some pretty big names on and those were guests that came on because of referrals. But I sucked. I did and so I think I wish I had them on now because I've gotten better. And I think it'd be a better episode in the sense that there will be more value there. But yeah, so this has been a very fun conversation. And I really, really appreciate you coming on and sharing everything. And I hope that people learned a little bit more about the ins and outs of podcasting. If people want to learn more about you and about Skucast and about Commonsku, what's the best way to find you and get a hold of you and connect with you?

Bobby Lehew:

They can find Commonsku at commonsku.com. You

Joelly Goodson :

I know it's been great. Well, we'll have to can look up the Skucast wherever you listen to podcasts, and you can find me at Bobby Lehew, Bobby Lehew anywhere on social. And thanks, Joelly for having me on. This was fun to talk about something we're both so passionate about. do it again. I hope we get to meet in person one day soon. Yeah, for sure. All right. Well take care and we will talk soon. All right. Bye. And there you have it. Thank you so much for tuning in. I really appreciate your support. And I hope you enjoyed the conversation and maybe learned a few things to help you with your branding. This show is a work in progress, so please remember to rate and review on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. And if you want help getting your audience to fall in love with your brand, please feel free to send me a private message on LinkedIn or Instagram under you guessed it, Branding Badass, I promise you I reply to all my messages. Branding Matters was produced, edited and hosted by Joelly. Goodson also me. So thanks again. And until next time, here's to all you badasses out there