Veteran Business Growth Strategist, Author, and Podcast Host Mark SA Smith, spends his on air time focusing on disruption. His podcast, the Selling Disruption Show, was recently ranked 9th best sales podcast by ZoomInfo, and if you know how many sales podcast are out there, you are definitely impressed right now.
Disruptive Sales Live
Given his background, it’s no surprise that Smith ended up hosting such a successful podcast. His process of systems and strategies is what plenty of executives are looking for to either 1) help them sell something disruptive, or 2) help them disrupt their competition. “If you’ve got to sell something disruptive or just want to disrupt the competition, you’re in the right place.”
For Smith, his systems mindset is something he often credits his success to. Common questions that run the dynamic of the show, demonstrating this systems mindset, are, “How do things work? How do they come apart and go back together? How can we create a predictable income?” This same process of looking for strategic ways to disrupt lets listeners sink their teeth into Smith’s way of thinking, and benefit from the results of this type of thinking.
Going for Gold
“I think about my listener as I interview my guest. I want to ask my guests the questions my listeners want to ask because my goal is to help them level up, and stay ahead of their competition.” Smith is deeply connected to his “why” of podcasting, and for him, that’s sharing top notch knowledge, insights, strategies, and information with his listeners. As with any successful podcast, your “why” must be clear, strong, and relevant.
Systems + Strategies
If your launch is going to be successful you need both systems and strategies in place. If you’re hoping to prosper and scale, your systems and strategies need to be iterable at each new growth level. If you hope to disrupt anything, whether it be competition, mature markets, technology, or sales… your systems and strategies have go through a process of updates and innovation themselves. For Smith, his ability to simplify these hefty points with his guests, buys him credibility with his listeners that a website or email chain could never offer.
Designing Your Podcast: Questions to Ask Yourself
When Smith decided he would jump into podcasting, he took all of his expertise on how to get customers buying, and hid for 3 whole days while he designed what you listen to when you tune in. This level of commitment inspired us to bring you, from the disruptor himself, how to design your podcast so it sells.
First, let’s start with the questions you need to ask yourself as you enter your podcast design process:
- What makes you unique? Seems like a given, but a lot of entrepreneurs, launchers, or executives, in general, assume their people will just find them, and it doesn’t work this way. You have to know who you are, understand what makes you unique, and use that to decide who will benefit the most from your expertise.
- Who do you want as a listener? Be very specific. Don’t be afraid to identify your target market to the most specific detail possible. The more you know who you’re talking to, the easier it will be to speak their language.
- What type of guests do you want to have on the show? Designing a criteria for guests will help you determine, along the way, if you are staying authentic and providing the value your specific listeners are seeking. Again with the systems.
- How do you plan to invite people to the show? Small details like this are often overlooked, but having these systems in place will save you so much time.
- How are you going to get people to be a part of something that has never existed before? What’s in it for them? Make sure this is clear.
- What do you want it to sound like? Smith created a sonic signature to add another level of uniqueness and dedication to detail to his show. He also knew, from the beginning, that he wanted his show to sound professionally produced with high technical quality, and that helped him make decisions about equipment, music, and even using the Podetize platform.
- What music do you want to use? Smith reached out to one of his favorite artists and got permission to use one of their songs. Don’t be afraid to spend time fine tuning your music. Remember, podcasting is about value and quality, but also sound and especially sound quality.
All of this design work is a very important component to putting together a show that’s useful. Putting in place systems, criterias, processes, and strategies makes everything streamlined, and saves you from recreating the wheel every few weeks.
Designing Your Podcast: Lessons to Learn From
The other side of the design process, is lessons learned along the way. Experiences shared allow us to pivot, grow faster, or avoid detrimental paths altogether.
- Start where you are. We’ve heard this so many times, from podcast hosts in just about every industry. Smith pointed out that he wished he had started his show sooner. “I wish I had started my podcast sooner. 5, 10 years ago…. I was having these conversations with experts and interesting people, and then those years went by and I wish I had started then, with those conversations.”
- Learn with your listeners. One of the things we love about podcasting is the development aspect, yes for the listener, but also for the hosts who are immersing themselves in their field of passion and expertise and making more connections than ever before, both in knowledge, and with people. Smith says his guests commonly walk away from the show better than when they arrived, and have no problem excitedly sharing this on air, which doesn’t hurt the ratings.
- Don’t go it alone. There are so many resources available to new hosts, and so there is no reason for a startup podcast host to be struggling or feeling like they have to figure it all out on their own. “Now that I’ve found your team, and can hand over the editing, your team does an excellent job making me look good. Another thing I want to point out is that I just love the number of listens I am getting since working with Podetize. My listeners are up, 5 times more, because you guys know how to make Google love and list my show. My advertising revenue has also gone up, which isn’t terrible either.” Even for an industry veteran like Smith, the value of putting his focus on his show and handing over the detail work shows in his success and his listenership.
One last podcast design tip as we wrap this up: As you begin, remember that who you are is what will sell the show. If you want to be a disruptive host, be yourself.