Create a Bingeable Podcast by Turning Passions into Meaningful Careers with Christine Hong of The New School Podcast

Create a Bingeable Podcast by Turning Passions into Meaningful Careers with Christine Hong of The New School Podcast


As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a “binge-able” podcast”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Hong.

Christine is the founder and host of The New School Podcast with Christine Hong. Besides working on The New School podcast, Christine is also the founder and CEO of the personalized podcast discovery app, Auby. Previously, she worked as a product manager at Tinder and Yahoo and graduated from Yale with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.

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Can you tell us the “backstory” about why or how you got started as a podcaster?

I started my first podcast because of my own frustrations with school growing up. Very few potential careers were presented to us and we were given very little guidance on how to get your first job and break into an industry. What I ended up doing was looking for people on LinkedIn or alumni sites with careers I was interested in, and then grabbing coffee with them so that I could ask all the questions I wanted on how to break into an industry.

After a while, I thought to myself, “Why aren’t these conversations public information?” I wanted to create a podcast that recorded these coffee dates I was having. That’s how The New School podcast was born. Every episode, we feature a guest with a career path you don’t normally get to hear about in the classroom and learn about how they got to where they are today. The New School’s main goal is to help listeners figure out their passions and how to turn them into meaningful careers.

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

I started the podcast solo and now have twelve people working under me. People are constantly asking me how I made this happen, and to be honest, it happened completely by accident. I was looking to offload the work of the podcast a bit to concentrate more on content and the big picture so I put up a post on a couple of job sites for a marketing intern and editing intern. During the interviews, I kept asking people what their dream job was. They’d tell me and I subconsciously shaped their roles around what they wanted to work on.

For example, one of my editing intern applicants told me she’s interested in learning all aspects of the production process. That’s how I got my producer. My friends have laughed at me and said it’s very meta because what I was subconsciously doing for the podcast teammates I recruited is what I want to do for my audience listeners through The New School: help them gain the skills and knowledge to achieve their dream career.

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

I had no idea how to interview people when I started The New School podcast. I’m a very curious person and I always have a TON of questions. My first interview ended up being 3 hours! Luckily, it was with a friend and he was very patient. However, editing that content down to 45 minutes was an absolute nightmare. From that experience, I learned to always focus on the goals I’m trying to achieve from my interview and the story I want to tell. From there, I outline the questions I want to ask in a narrative arc and how many minutes I want to allocate for each section, kind of like a screenplay. This has definitely made the podcast production process easier for me, the guest, and the editing team.

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Christine Hong!

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Christine Hong of The New School Podcast shares the best way to:

1) Book Great Guests. Only take on guests who are charismatic, passionate about their careers, and have interesting stories that are relatable. We do pre-interviews with potential guests to make sure they have the necessary factors needed before bringing them onto the show.

Never underestimate the power of a well crafted cold email and follow up email for booking a guest.

2) Increase Listeners. Have a clear vision of who your target audience is and focus your marketing efforts on these less crowded niche channels that appeal to this type of audience (e.g. If your target audience is mostly millennial Asians, I’d market in the “subtle Asian traits” Facebook group). If you try to target everyone and don’t have a high marketing budget, you will inevitably fail.

3) Produce in a Professional Way. For in-person interviews, you can get a Blue Yeti microphone for you and your guest for around $200 to start.

If you’re recording the interview remotely (given the circumstances this year), I’d use a remote podcast recording software like SquadCast. They’re super affordable, the sound quality is excellent and keeps the audio files separate so it’s easier to edit later. If you record well, you don’t have to do that much editing to ensure sound quality.

4) Encourage Engagement. Find marketing techniques that match your target audience. For The New School podcast, our target audience is people who are looking to transition into a new career and aren’t sure how to get started and people who aren’t even sure what career they want to pursue. Therefore, we encourage engagement along the lines of what these people already want. They want us to ask questions about what a certain career is like and how to break into it.

5) Monetize. Understand your core audience demographics and get statistics on them, then find sponsorships that are looking to target a similar core audience to what you have.

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?

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Christine Hong!

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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