How do you create high-quality content for 500 podcast episodes?
The incredible Jay Baer has been working for 9+ years on his podcast, Social Pros. I invited him to join me on The Content 10x Podcast to talk about what it takes to consistently create so much fantastic content.
Jay is a profound figure in the content marketing industry. He’s the founder of Convince & Convert, a leading podcaster, author, and speaker. Plus, he has hosted the Social Pros podcast for over nine years. In this insightful episode, we discussed why his show is so successful, its niche appeal, how he stays consistent after all this time, and what he’d do differently if he started Social Pros today.
Hit play to watch some of the highlights from our conversation…
…or listen to the full discussion on The Content 10x Podcast (just hit play)…
Or keep reading to discover how content repurposing, amongst other factors, has helped Jay reach such an incredible milestone!
How to commit to creating 500 podcast episodes
Episode one of the Social Pros podcast went live on the 30th January 2012. That means that Jay has hosted the show for almost a decade.
Phew... let that sink in!
The show is fast approaching it’s 10th birthday, which in the podcasting world, is like turning 100!
At Content 10x we are proud and honored to have worked with Jay and his team on the Social Pros podcast for the past few years and counting. I was keen to invite Jay back onto the show to find out how you stay committed to creating content. Especially with as much enthusiasm and passion as Jay brings to the show every week for that amount of time.
Jay explained that when the podcast first stated, the idea was just to create an interesting piece of content for the podcasting space.
But he quickly realized that if he used this platform to speak to potential clients, it could build relationships and welcome them in the door to his marketing consulting firm (Convince and Convert).
And that’s exactly what happened. Jay says:
“Over the last 10 years, we've had lots of Social Pros guests who turn into clients for Convince and Convert and vice versa. It started out as an underdeveloped concept, and here we are 10 years later!”
Jay credits the interview-format as one of the reasons why Social Pros has been such a success. And not just for his business, but most importantly for his audience. But how do you convince 500 experts to guest-star on your podcast?
How to showcase expert knowledge
One of the big issues that content creators often face is thinking that they have nothing to talk about. So the thought of creating content for ten years straight might be overwhelming, if not a truly impossible thought!
The Social Pros podcast overcomes this by being an interview show. Each week a different guest comes on to share their experiences. But Jay points out that at 500 episodes, it’s unrealistic to expect every guest to be different. And actually, there’s a lot of value in revisiting previous guests.
Jay has invited many prior guests to re-join the show as they’ve often moved companies, jobs, and even sectors. This means they have new insights and can build on value they’ve previously shared.
Expert knowledge is all Jay wants from his guests. You don’t have to be “famous” in the industry or seen as a “rising star”. All you need is to be able to share information that’s valuable for the audience.
So if you’re considering inviting guests onto your podcast or video show and worrying that you don’t have any famous connections – don’t panic! Think about who would be most valuable for your audience to hear from, regardless of their status.
The ‘famous’ people have been on all the podcasts, and everyone has heard it all before. In actual fact those types of guests don’t always pull listeners in. What does pull listeners in is a fascinating conversation.
Why social media marketing is serious business
Jay mentioned that in an industry like social media, things are constantly changing so there’s always new trends, platforms, features, strategies, and more to talk about. Over the 10 years Jay’s hosted the show, social media as an industry has gone through so many changes – not just technically but culturally too.
Year on year the number of people using social media for both business and pleasure increases. Within companies people are taking social media roles more seriously. They’re no longer the job of an unpaid intern – social strategy is serious business (and is now a legitimate university degree).
Jay says that now social media roles are seen as a “training ground for executive marketing positions” as they require a diverse set of organizational, creative, and analytical skills that can be applied across the much broader marketing spectrum.
The secret to building a loyal following
Social Pros is a weekly podcast and Jay strongly believes that publishing content consistently is the number one key to success. He says that one of the most important things he’s learned about connecting with an audience is that you have to make your communication habitual.
He described it brilliantly with this magazine analogy:
“Imagine if you were trying to publish a magazine, and you're like, we're going to publish a magazine when we feel like it or when we're inspired. Or we're going to do three issues of the magazine in August, and then not another one till October. And then we'll do a few more. You can't build a habit like that. “
But he acknowledges that consistency is hard – and sometimes it comes at a price. Jay is the first to admit that some episodes are better than others. But the important thing is that there’s always an episode every week.
How to stay consistent
With consistency such a vital part to Social Pros success, I wanted to find out the strategies Jay’s used to maintain such high-quality episodes and never miss a week.
- Plan: Jay’s top tip is to plan as far ahead as you can, get interviews booked in advance, and make content a priority.
- Outsource: getting help where possible can free up your team and help you stay on track. We’re proud to partner with Jay and the Social Pros podcast. Each week we repurpose the show into social media content and more to help Jay distribute consistently high-quality content.
- Just keep going: creating content can be lonely, so don’t stop if you’re not getting any audience feedback. This is especially common with podcasting and can put a lot of people off pursuing their content dreams.
It can be really easy to get caught up chasing audience feedback or vanity metrics which can get you off course with your content strategy. For those thinking they should cast a wider net to get better results, Jay has one piece of advice: smaller niches get better results.
Why focus on a targeted niche
There is a clearly defined audience for the Social Pros podcast. It’s aimed at those in social media roles at big brands.
Jay says that if you don’t fit that description and still listen to the show, then that’s a win. But they’re not going to change the show to fit a broader audience’s preferences. It’s aimed at a select target audience, and that’s who they’ll create the show for. If listeners want different content, Jay is happy for them to go elsewhere.
“I would much rather host the favorite podcast of 50,000 people, than the I-kind-of-like-it of 500,000 people.” - @jaybaer
He notes that getting seduced by the idea of having a bigger audience can steer you off course, and what you actually need is a smaller audience that’s loyal.
“The biggest mistake people make is they target too large of an audience. At that point, their podcast is one of several that are marginally relevant to the audience. You're much better off being hyper relevant to a small audience than partially relevant to a large audience.”
Jay’s advice: focus on a very specific audience, find a way to be their favorite podcast in the world, and you’ll do great.
Finally, there was one more big question I wanted to ask Jay…
If you were starting a podcast today, what would you do differently?
Compared to today, podcasting was in its infancy when Jay began Social Pros in 2012. So I wanted to know, given the new technologies and his audience’s behaviors, what would Jay do differently?
“Because of the magic of repurposing, if I was going to start a show today, I would probably start it as video. I would probably create a YouTube series that also becomes a podcast.”
Believe it or not, YouTube and podcasts are a match made in heaven and repurposing your video into a podcast is a fantastic way to increase your ROI.
When we first started working with Jay in late 2018, we were repurposing his Talk Triggers show from a video. We were repurposing into a podcast, and also into a blog post, social media content and more. So this answer did not surprise me at all.
Content repurposing was one of the major changes Social Pros has seen over the years. It’s helped the team promote the show across their social platforms and more. Jay even points out just how meta it is promoting a podcast about social media on social media!
So if you’re thinking about launching a podcast or creating any kind of content, do consider Jay’s advice here. Think about what’s going to give you the most bang for your buck in the long run. Blogging is great, but when your podcast can become a blog, why not podcast? And when a video can become a podcast, why not start a video show instead?
As he says, the “magic of repurposing” can help your content go so much further.