“How to Become the Center of Influence Through Cathartic Podcasting” With Annie Tevelin of the Off The Record Podcast

“How to Become the Center of Influence Through Cathartic Podcasting” With Annie Tevelin of the Off The Record Podcast


As part of my series of interviews about “How podcasters can become a center of influence,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Annie Tevelin of the Off The Record Podcast.

What began as SkinOwl Founder, Annie Tevelin’s, search for meaningful dialogue in a deluded space, has evolved into a magnetic epicenter of inspirational entrepreneurs, wellness experts, and influential individuals from all backgrounds presenting vulnerability in a truly raw and transparent way.

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

Since I was a young girl, I wanted to be a talk show host. I looked up to Howard SternDavid LettermanEllen, and Oprah and studied how they communicated with people. Like them, I have always wanted to give people a safe, encouraging platform to talk about things they rarely speak about. In talking with people about their skin for years, I realized how many people struggle. Everyone has insecurities, challenges, and blockages. I wanted a podcast that allowed people to stop for a moment and start breaking down the why and when. It is such a good influence in today’s world, to give people the opportunity to speak with someone’s undivided attention.

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

I always thought I would be passionate about skincare more than anything else. I had struggled for years with cystic acne and I have so loved helping people with acne or fatigue and I never thought anything else would feel as good as building a skincare business. But in building a skincare business, I realized that I wanted to touch and inspire people on a deeper level. As I delved deeper into the podcast world and interviewing people I realized my passion for connection and conversation. Off The Record not only offers a safe space for the interviewee to be vulnerable but also allows myself that openness and room for self-exploration. It’s rare that you find other things you love, especially career-wise, at 38 years old. This revelation has been truly remarkable in every way.

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 one episode where I took to Wikipedia for some details about a guest with a stage name. The name that Wikipedia and two other websites said were his real name was William Shlenaker. When the interview started and I remarked on the guest’s birth name, i.e. William Shlenaker, the guest stopped the interview to say that he had never heard that name before and that his birth name was interestingly enough, his actual stage name. Luckily, we both laughed hysterically about it. His manager contacted the various websites that claimed this as true in hopes of correcting it. I still laugh to this day. Who is William Shlenaker? We’ll never know!

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

One year and two months and I am on my 66th episode!

What are the main takeaways or lessons you want your listeners to walk away with?

I want people to know how important it is to speak ‘off the record’ about things on their heart. People relate to people who share the depths of their journey. With everything so filtered and ‘perfect’ these days, listening to someone talk through the gray or unformed thoughts is of high value. It makes humanity exactly that…human. I hope every listener finds freedom in these interviews and conversations and remembers that vulnerability begets vulnerability.

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Annie Tevelin!

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Podcaster Influencer, Annie Tevelin of the Off The Record Podcast shares the best ways to:

1) Book Great Guests. Make a list of people who align with your mission. In my case, I want to introduce my guest in a way that people don’t ordinarily know them. It is important that I find people who are emotionally available, open, and transparent which allows for an incredible interview. I scour Instagram and LinkedIn and wait for people to jump out at me. I send them a direct message or contact their booking agent and go from there. Listen to other podcasts and reach out to interviewees that intrigue you.

2) Increase Listeners. Sharing with your guest and their team assets to post, such as audiograms, images, and instastory slides before an episode is released gifts new listeners every time. Boost Instagram posts so people know a new episode has aired. Get in a few podcast groups and communities where you share your episodes with one another, which spreads like wildfire.

3) Produce Like a Pro. Rent a recording studio with an engineer on site who can correct any issues with the microphones and noise quality, add intros, and send back to you in its final form. Have a team to upload to your streaming platforms. Make sure to take care of the show notes and copy so that everything is uploaded with ease.

4) Encourage Engagement. Every week, post on Instagram encouraging people to rate and review your podcast so people can connect with you about previous episodes and what they want to hear in the future. Do an Insta Live during the first ten minutes of the podcast and allow people to ask the guest questions and get a behind the scenes glimpse at the action. On Instagram as well, ask fans to tag whoever they want to see on the next podcast.

5) Monetize Your Show. Every month, reach out to brands and companies that you think would resonate with your podcast. Advertise products that you use and love, so that there is a strong level of authenticity and experience with it. Turn their script into your own narrative. GLOW and Ossa are great platforms for people who want to advertise and link up with sponsors of all genres.

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 Annie Tevelin!

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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