Bringing in Broadcaster Experience to Create Bingeability, with Chris Van Vliet of The Chris Van Vliet Show

 

Bringing in Broadcaster Experience to Create Bingeability, with Chris Van Vliet of The Chris Van Vliet Show

Chris Van Vliet is a 4-time Emmy Award winning TV host, podcaster, speaker and entrepreneur. He has traveled the world interviewing A-list stars and reporting from events like the Oscars, Grammys and Cannes Film Festival. His YouTube channel has more than 89 million views and his podcast, “The Chris Van Vliet Show” frequently appears on The Apple Top 200. 

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Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you to this particular career path?

I have been working as a TV host and entertainment reporter for the last 15 years. I have been fortunate to travel the world covering events like the Oscars, Grammys and Cannes Film Festival and interviewing the biggest celebrities on the planet. I realized over the last few years that the broadcasting model that existed when I entered the business has changed drastically.

Since the advent of smartphones and websites like YouTube, as well as the rise in popularity of podcasting, I realized broadcasting is no longer BROAD, it is actually quite the opposite. It has become what I like to call niche-casting. People now have the ability to look up exact topics and ideas and get lost down a rabbit hole of information.

At the end of 2019, I decided to leave my job as an entertainment reporter at the FOX-TV station in Miami to focus my efforts on this idea of niche-casting with my YouTube channel and podcast.

Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?

Working in local news for most of my career, I would get recognized every now and then at the grocery store or gas station. It really caught me off guard when I was out of town and got recognized by my voice at the airport!

Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaways you learned from that?

When I first started doing virtual interviews, one of the recordings completely disappeared as soon as the person disconnected. Poof! It was gone! It was extremely embarrassing to have to explain the situation to my guest and then ask if they could re-do the hour-long interview.

Fortunately, most people understand that these things can happen and are willing to re-record with me. Technology is a wonderful thing when it works, but can be quite frustrating when it doesn’t work out the way you envision.

How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?

I have been podcasting for a year and a half and I have aired 118 episodes.

What are the main takeaways, lessons, or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?

My show focuses on the tools, tactics and mindsets from some of the best athletes, entrepreneurs and critical thinkers so we can find out what makes them the best at what they do.

I am a firm believer that success leaves clues, and through these conversations, listeners are able to take different things that my guests talk about and apply them to their own lives. I love hearing from listeners who have learned something and put it to use in their own lives after listening to a specific episode of my show.

In your opinion what makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or your content?

I feel very fortunate to apply what I have learned in my career as a broadcaster to the podcasting world. My goal is to always make the interviews not feel like an interview, but rather two friends who are catching up.

Most importantly, I am genuinely interested in all of the guests who I invite on the show. I selfishly invite them on because I want to have a conversation and learn from them and the benefit is my listeners get to share in the experience.

I think people enjoy the conversational feel of my show and it makes them feel like they’re part of it as well.

Doing something on a consistent basis is not easy. Podcasting every work-day, or even every week can be monotonous. What would you recommend to others about how to maintain discipline and consistency? What would you recommend to others about how to avoid burnout?

I think it’s really important to ask yourself why you’re doing it. If the answer is anything other than “because I love it”, then you should probably stop right now. The best thing about podcasting is that anyone can do it. And the worst thing about podcasting is also that anyone can do it.

The reality is, most of us are not going to get rich from podcasting and it is very much a labor of love. You will put countless hours into booking guests, researching, recording, editing, etc. If you don’t love the process of it from beginning to end then you are going to burn out quickly.

What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?

I read non-fiction books every single day and listen to podcasters who inspire me to constantly get better. The passion and success of others fuels me to keep going so I can create my own story!

Is there someone in the podcasting world who you think is a great model for how to run a really fantastic podcast?

I am a huge fan of The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes. He has a great mix of different guests who are all at the top of their game in their respective field. I feel like I walk away from each episode with pages and pages of notes.

Lewis is an excellent podcaster, professional, and is someone aspiring podcasters can learn from, as well as the great guests he has on his show.

What are the ingredients that make that podcast so successful? If you could break that down into a blueprint, what would that blueprint look like?

Number one is passion. I’m passionate about the topics that we talk about and I’m passionate about growing my podcast to reach as many people as possible.

Research is important. Both about the guests I have on each episode and also about the types of things my audience is looking for. I am always doing new research to make sure my next episode is as good as it possibly can be.

Listening. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. The most common compliment that I am given is “thank you for actually letting your guests talk!”. I am very aware that even though my podcast has my name in the title, the show is not about me. It is all about letting my guests shine.

Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast?

  1. A niche. Too many people start a podcast with the idea that they can talk about anything. Have a specific topic or a specific genre that you want to focus on. The more specific the better!
  2. Passion. If you are excited about your topic, your listeners will be too. Passion is the secret sauce of life. Apply it generously to every aspect of your podcast from start to finish.
  3. Patience. You are not going to start your podcast today and be as popular as “My Favorite Murder” by next month. There, I said it. The growth on a podcast is very, very slow. Learn from your mistakes, lean into the things that do work for your show and continue to get better with every episode.
  4. Time. Having a podcast is a very time-consuming venture. Make sure that you have set aside enough time for every part of the process.
  5. Decent equipment. Once you’ve decided that podcasting is for you, invest in some decent sounding mics. No podcast gets switched off faster than one with echoey or muffled audio.

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine Article about Chris Van Vliet!

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Podcast Influencer, Chris Van Vliet of The Chris Van Vliet Show shares the best ways to:

1) Book Great Guests. I’ve found the best way to book great guests is to lead with the value that you can bring. It’s obvious what the benefit is for you to have them on your show, but what is in it for them to give you an hour of their time? Pitch it in a way that they can’t say no.

2) Increase Listeners. Since my show is a guest-oriented show, I will always ask my guests if they could retweet the post I make about the episode. In some cases, they have over a million followers on Twitter. If I can tap into just 1% of that, that could be a huge increase in downloads.

3) Produce in a Professional Way. Perception is everything! If your show sounds like garbage, people are going to assume that your show is in fact garbage. Spend some money on mics and make sure you get a decent intro made for your show. Also it’s so important to have a plan for each episode. If you hit the record button and just start “winging it”, that’s exactly what it is going to sound like

4) Encourage Engagement. As we all know, reviews are really helpful for the growth of a podcast. Early on, I started reading one review on each episode as a way to say thank you and also to shout out one listener. Since then, I now get several reviews each week.

5) Monetize Your Show. When I first started my podcast, I would write down every company who sponsored my favorite shows. My thinking was that they were already familiar with the benefit of podcast ads and we could skip past that step. I then reached out to brands that I felt aligned with both my interests and the interests of my audience and showed them what I could do for them.

 

What makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or the content itself?   

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine Article about Chris Van Vliet!

Picture of Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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