Achieving Podcasting Success With Carolyn Kiel


Podcasting is quickly becoming a platform for information sharing. Carolyn Kiel, the host of Beyond 6 Seconds, is on the show today to talk about how she created her show and came up with the name. Preparing for something big, she shares how she went about learning podcasting and applied her knowledge in psychology for mapping out show questions. She also reveals how she books great guests and shares some tips on how to increase listenership and sponsorships.

Listen to the podcast here:

Achieving Podcasting Success With Carolyn Kiel

I have another great Center of Influence podcaster to bring you. I’m bringing you Carolyn Kiel. I love it when I get a referral to someone who should be on my show, a new guest who’s referred from another guest. That’s the biggest compliment ever. It’s also your biggest source of guests. I hear that again and again as I do these Center of Influence interviews. That’s how Carolyn came to me. She came to me from someone who we’ve interviewed before here on Center of Influence, from Scott Carson. The thing about it is when you have a great rapport with someone on the show, you also get a sense of what your show is about. That’s when these referrals become an even better fit. I’m so excited to have Carolyn on because she has a show called Beyond 6 Seconds. She’s also a little bit different than the other podcasters that we’ve been interviewing because it’s not her day job, but it’s not intended to be. She did this for fun. She did this because it interested her. She did it because she was excited to listen to other people’s stories, do interviews and to push herself. I want you to learn all about that. 

First, let me tell you a little bit more about Carolyn. Carolyn Kiel is an experienced training and talent development leader based in New Jersey. She helps global companies prepare their employees to succeed in changing business environments. She hosts the Beyond 6 Seconds podcast where she shares extraordinary stories of everyday people from all around the world. Carolyn interviews entrepreneurs, creators and other leaders about their candid and inspiring stories, the challenges they faced, the ups and downs in their journeys and how they’ve achieved their goals. I have enjoyed reading it because it does go a little bit deeper. Carolyn’s questions are interesting. Let’s hear more from Carolyn Kiel. Carolyn, thanks so much for joining me. I’m glad to see you again.

It’s great to be here and great to see you again.

You’ve been podcasting for quite a while. You’ve done quite a lot of episodes. We met people at the She Podcasts event who are newbies, just started their show, been podcasting for five years. Did you feel like you were amongst the group that knew what she was doing? 

Yeah. I’ve been podcasting for almost two years and while certainly there are people who have been podcasting for many years more than that, I still feel like I’m more on the veteran side than the rookie side if I had to pick a side. I’ve learned so much. Like most podcasters, I’ve taught myself as I go along, as I build the show. I learned quite a lot since I started.

You can't focus on every single platform, but it helps to have a presence wherever you can so people can find you. Share on X

I like to start with the place where you first said, “This podcasting thing is for me.” When did that happen for you and what was going through your mind at the time? 

It was a conversion of a couple of different things. I discovered podcasting relatively late in the game, which was 2018 in the middle of the year when one of my friends found an episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History that she enjoyed. She shared it with my singing group because I was in a singing group at the time. It was about one of the songwriters of a song that we were performing. At that point, I started listening to his other podcasts and then started discovering the world of podcasting. There were so many shows out there that were available. Since I was a singer and I had that background, I had wanted to start a creative project that was something like writing, singing, speaking or creating some interesting content for people. I decided to say, “I know a little bit about recording software because I did it as part of my singing group when I was managing their website years ago. I’ve got that to start, maybe I could try podcasting. That would be cool. I could interview my friends about the cool things that they’re doing and we’ll see how it goes.” I had a couple of friends who I knew were doing interesting things and I decided to ask them if they wanted to be interviewed by me. You recorded it and the first six episodes or so were my friends and then it started to take off from there.

You weren’t intimidated by the microphone in front of you or any of those things because you had that singing background. The resonance of your voice shows that you have had some theatrical training of some kind. I hear it in your show. There’s a very distinct difference from those who would have no breathing training. That’s how I would explain it. You don’t have to breathe from your diaphragm. Those that do, and whether it’s broadcasting, training or singing training, it serves you well because it helps with the tone of your voice. 

Thank you.

You have to at some point said, “I’m in this. I like this. I’m going to go for this, but how am I going to develop my show? What is it going to be about?” At some point, you made the decision that you were going to go into this Beyond 6 Seconds. I liked the strategy and the thought process that went into it, what you say about your show at the beginning of every single show in your intro about six seconds. Tell us a little bit about how that part came about for you. 

The Beyond 6 Seconds part, it’s interesting that the name of the show was one of the last things that I was coming up with. It was almost the final thing that was keeping me from launching. I was pretty good at putting everything else together and getting things else moving. I said, “What am I going to call this show?” At first, I was talking with a lot of my friends. They were on my first few episodes. Many of them had achieved amazing things, but at the time they were looking to make career changes or they were looking for jobs. Some of them were unemployed or underemployed at the time. I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, which is where I met a lot of them because it’s very business-to-business and professionals are on there. I came across this study finding that said that recruiters only look at your resume for about six seconds before they make a judgment on your skills and your abilities with your resume. You either you get advanced to the next round of the job interviews or you get distorted.

I didn’t know how valid this survey was, but it was something that was talked about a lot at the time on LinkedIn and other social media. I said, “I want to go beyond those six seconds. Whether it’s six or different number, we make those first impressions when we see people and we meet people in a couple of seconds.” A lot of times, we never know what their amazing stories are, what they’re going through, what they’ve overcome, what their goals are. I was interested to spend a little more time, dig deeper and learn more about what people have overcome. It’s amazing what I learned from people, what they’re able to accomplish and do it in their lives despite challenges, obstacles and all things like that.

FYB COI | Beyond 6 Seconds
Extraordinary Stories from Everydady People Beyond 6 Seconds


Their numbers are probably a little bit high now in our digital world. We have less of the six seconds attention span because we used to say you had seven seconds on a product shelf. If you were walking through Target, Walmart or something like that, you had seven seconds to catch their eye. When you’re talking about flipping through your phone, it’s faster than that. LinkedIn profiles, you’re spinning through those things. I love the premise of it and that you do that well where you dive in deeper about what’s making them tick, what makes them unique. How have you found getting guests over time? Has that shifted for you? You went outside of the circle of your friends, has it gotten easier and easier for you?

It has. I started within my circle of friends and relatively quickly, I’d say by even episode five or seven, I started to get referrals from my audience, which was amazing. When you’re first starting a show, you don’t always have a reader base built in, but I was sharing my episodes on social media and my people in my first connection network would see them and say, “I liked your show. I have this friend who has a great story to tell. She would be great on your show.” At that point I’d say, “That’s great.” I didn’t have a huge pipeline at that time. I wound up meeting a lot of people and talking with them on my show who were referred by my audience and then my guests who were going on started to refer me to other guests. Several of the guests I’ve had on have been referred by past guests, which I take as a big compliment for my show. They’re like, “This is a good show to be on.” At the same time, I do get outreaches.

I get cold outreaches that a lot of podcasters get, whether they’re from publicists or even people in my extended network that I can tell listened to the show, wrote a personal note and said why they liked to be on the show. I’ve met people through that as well. It’s not just on LinkedIn, it’s on Instagram. I have my first celebrity interview. She connected with me on Instagram and we started DM-ing there and she was on my show. I’ve met people almost anywhere. I met one CEO of a company. His staff reached out to me on Twitter and wanted to be interviewed. You can’t focus on every single platform, but it helps to have a presence wherever you can so people can find you.

It’s not your day job podcasting. What is?

My day job is that I work for a large telecom company in New Jersey and I am a Corporate Training Program Manager, which means that I occasionally facilitate and teach training. I am the person who basically project manages and puts together training programs specifically for one of the departments at the company that’s very specific to their needs. It’s a lot. It can be anything from technology training to how processes work inside of the department to digital trends and other industry trends and things like that. I’m not always teaching, but I do a little bit from understanding what people need, how do I find the resources to put together the training, whether that’s working with different training vendors and providers or other people inside the company, then making sure it gets delivered and measuring the progress. That’s how that all ties together.

What do your coworkers think of you as a podcast host?

At first, when I started at work, I didn’t talk about it that much. I was trying to keep it separate, but then as it started to grow and as I was posting about it on social media, it started to get out more. They think it’s cool. I’ll be sitting at work doing my work and one of my coworkers who maybe I don’t talk to every day, who we don’t work together, but she’ll lean over and say, “I listened to your podcast.” I’m like, “What? How did you know I have a podcast?” That’s a point I would say for podcasters. You don’t always know the extent of your reach. You don’t know who’s listening to you. The people who listen don’t always comment, like or share. You probably have a much bigger audience than you realize.

When did it feel successful to you? When did you feel like, “I’m doing this and it feels good and I need to keep going?” 

The people who listen don't always comment, like, or share. You probably have a much bigger audience than you realize. Share on X

I don’t know if I can point to a specific point in time, but it was probably maybe some point in the middle of last year. One big validation for me was to have someone who’s considered above media celebrity reach out to me and say, “Your show would be a great match for what I’m doing.” When I started to work with not always the guests themselves but with their people, their publicists and their staff would come, that was something that was very different for me. I feel like, “This is someone who invests with the staff to make sure that everything sounds right and helps them with their schedule and helps them get set up.” From there, that was a big turning point and also when I started getting more detailed feedback. I had one of my previous guests who’s offered to connect me with other guests who would be a good match for my show. He’ll ask me first like, “Would you like to be introduced?” I said, “Of course.” He’ll email me. The things he would write about me was like, “Carolyn is one of the best interviews I’ve ever done on a podcast.” I’m like, “I didn’t tell you to write that but that’s awesome.” That means a lot to me because I also started this podcast to get better at interviewing, listening and asking people questions. It seems like I’m achieving that at least in some sense.

You have accomplished that, how wonderful. That’s great. Did you go out there and say, “I’m going to listen to other shows, I’m going to watch this, I’m going to try to model this type of interview tactics?” Did you go and train yourself, seeing as you’re a trainer and say, “How am I going to get better at this?” Did you go for it and kept seeing what was working? 

I listened to some podcasts. I got a sense of the style that I liked and the idea came together very quickly in my head in terms of what I wanted it to sound like, how we wanted it to be structured. I pulled on my previous training as a trainer. I also have a Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Part of my coursework was a course on coaching. How do you ask good questions? How do you practice active listening? I drew on my previous education and training and started to bring it forward in podcasting. I figured that would be pretty good for interviewing. I’m also a planner. When I first started, I would very much write out all the structure for all the questions I wanted to ask. At the same time, I wanted to challenge myself and say like, “Do not read these questions down the line.” They’re there in case I blank out and totally forget about something. I try to go with the flow of the conversation and then maybe I’ll ask questions in a different order or I’ll ask more questions or rephrase them or skip some. I do a combination of a little bit of structure, but a lot of loosely playing within the structure.

I love that you said that because that’s the one thing that I coach all my clients on and I practice. I don’t write the question out in question format because if you write it out in question format, you’re more likely to read it. If you put it in bullet point like, “I want to ask about this,” and you make a bullet point thing, then you won’t read it. It will refresh your memory in case you go blank, which happens to all of us. Some distraction happens right before your interview and you can’t think of anything but that. It happens to the best of us. If anyone doesn’t know already from the way that I do this, I typically listen to the shows. I listened to Carolyn’s show when she first put her appointment in my calendar and I always listen the first episode, any episode that says something about shifting or pivoting the show or says, “We’re going to change things up,” like anyone that says that. I pick an early episode and a later episode to listen to. That way I get a broad brush of how your show has changed over time too. I get a sense of how it’s grown.

One of the earlier episodes I listened to, although it wasn’t super early but it was within the first 30 or 40 episodes, was a show that you did on Cryptocurrency Simplified. I was like, “This is a complex subject, which I happen to know something about because I have podcasts on blockchain and cryptocurrency.” You asked great questions and emphasized the right things when she would speak. It shows a lot of prep. It shows a lot of research into it because I can’t imagine you knew a lot about cryptocurrency before you got started. When I listened to one of your more recent episodes, it’s the same thing. She was talking about nonprofit spaces and other things and you don’t exactly work in that either, but it showed the same thing. How much time do you spend researching and taking a look at the background, the information that is provided by your guests? 

Assuming that I don’t know the person already and have that background in my head, I will spend at least an hour, maybe up to two hours. If the guest sends me something like media sheets or anything like bios, I’ll look at that and read that. A lot of times, I’ll go out to their website and read through to get a sense of how they describe themselves on the website, what services they offer if that’s the type of business that they do. Sometimes we’ll go out to social media. Occasionally, because I’m always looking for a story angle, if I’m not finding that story, if it’s depending on how they present themselves on their website, sometimes I’ll look for them if they’re interviewed on another podcast or if they’re on a YouTube video or if they’ve written a blog that’s a little more personal. I’ll read or listen to a couple of those until I get it in my head like, “These are certain points in their lives that I want to ask about because I know that there’s a good story in there.”

What’s your story?

I’ve got to get to the point where I know which types of information I want to touch on. I’ll sketch out my interview questions, a very high-level touch on this point and ask this type of question. From there, I have that preparation where a lot of times I’ll lead by guesses of the questions like, “Tell me about this particular experience.” I’m asking because I know it’s a good story and I’m hoping that we’ll pull out and come out from there. Other times, they’ll surprise me and a lot of times I’ll learn things that they haven’t shared anywhere else. Many of my guests, which is a big honor for me, have come on my show and told their stories for the very first time ever, anywhere publicly, which is incredible. A lot of times for some reason don’t think that their stories are interesting. They’re like the most interesting and amazing inspiring things for me and for my audience.

You said when you were looking to start a show or do something different, you were wanting to go out and try something, you thought about writing. You have done some writing since the podcast. Did that lead to it? What did the podcast lead you to doing other things?

Here’s the irony of that. One of the reasons I decided to try podcasting besides all the ones I mentioned before was that I was trying to write blogs and I was trying to journal and write more. I would write maybe for a day or two and then get writer’s block and abandon it or get busy or whatever. I could not stick to it. It’s like, “If I do podcasting, then I won’t have to write. Maybe it will be easier.” Many podcasters know the irony of that is that writing is still extremely important when you’re podcasting for SEO, digital purposes and content repurposing. Fortunately, I enjoy writing. It tends to take me a while.

It takes everyone a while. Even real writers, let me tell you.

That’s good to know. Sometimes it’s like, “It’s definitely a process.” I still like to have opportunities to write. I don’t write as much as I podcast, but a lot of the podcasting opportunities I’ve had have given me inspiration, new ideas and new opportunities to write. I’m in the process of working on an article for the industry trade publication for trainers and talent development professionals to write an article for their monthly magazine about how podcasting can help trainers. Looking for those intersections that are unusual based on my experience is a sweet spot in terms of how to think of good content to write and share.

You saw my talk. You know that I’m always trying to find the intersection between influence and authority here. What types of authority things have happened to you in speaking events and like this article that you’re going to be writing? What has your podcast afforded you?

First of all, I’ve met people that I probably never would have met and who probably never would have talked to me under any other circumstance. I know from my previous times, I’ve changed my own career several years ago. I know the experience of trying to network and trying to find people to listen to you, talk with you and spend time with you. From a job search perspective previously a lot of times, people are busy and it’s hard to get in the door because it’s hard to demonstrate that value. You’re like asking for a favor. When you’re a podcaster and you’ve got a show in a platform, suddenly it’s like, “Here comes everybody who wants to come on.” Even if you find someone that you admire or that you think has a great story, most of the people that I’ve approached have been extremely supportive and have said yes and would want to be on my show.

Having guests on my show, they’ve connected me to their friends. I’m continuing to build that network and community. That’s something I want to extend is build more of a community of listeners so they know more of each other. For me, I’ve had wonderful follow-up conversations with a lot of my guests who are interested in continuing our relationship and sharing information, whether they’re starting a podcast or they’re helping me meet new people and learn new things. That’s a big part as well. It’s also given me the courage to ask for things that I want because this is not my bread and butter. If I go ask big celebrity guests to be on and they ignore me or they say no or whatever, who cares. I asked and that’s cool. Once in a while, one will say yes and that’s amazing. I’ve had that experience as well. As a podcaster, it helps build your confidence for when I’m podcasting, but in other areas of my life as well to say like, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Go for what you’re looking for and the worst that can happen is that they say no or don’t respond. That’s not the end of the world.

Go for what you're looking for. The worst that can happen is that they say no or don't respond, but that's not the end of the world. Share on X

I think that’s such a great way to look at authority as like, “I’m building community, I’m building network, I’m building that.” That’s a different level of authority and it’s personal for every single different podcaster on every single show as to what their goals are. There’s always that surprise of, “This was not as hard as I thought it was to create this community or build this network.” Every time I get someone on to the Center of Influence, I like to ask them the same five questions. We want to make sure that everybody else out there can have some tips on these different things. From your experience, what are some of the best ways to book great guests?

It helps as a podcaster even if you have a lot of people coming to you who want to be on your show, you should still have an idea of the types of guests that would be a good match for your show. There are a lot of desirable guests who are big stretch goals for some podcasters. Seth Godin is one. I’ve had a couple of podcaster friends who have had him on the show and it’s amazing. If your show is not about that or if you don’t have a connection, whether it’s an idea with guests like that, it may not make sense to go for the big names. Plus, there are many different talented people who could be a good guest for your show. I definitely recommend knowing who would be a good guest for your show and what value they can provide to your audience or what values you’re looking for your audience.

Reaching out. It’s so easy to find people these days, even people who are celebrities, and certainly anyone who’s working in a corporate setting. If you go on LinkedIn, even Instagram or Twitter or any social media platform, you can get pretty close to almost anyone in corporate or the solopreneur or entrepreneurs and such. Those are sometimes the best ways to get in touch with them. Reaching out to them there. I recommend being mindful and thinking about who can provide the best value for your listeners and your audience and going and targeting people from there as guests.

What about ways to increase listeners? What are some of the best ways you’ve found to increase listeners?

In the beginning, I would always ask my listeners, my friends and family to listen and to share episodes. I recommend sharing episodes on social media whenever possible. It’s great to have a call to action or a question that your listeners can answer, whether it’s in the text or the audio of the episode or whether you’re asking it on social media to engage people and to get them to comment on your post. The more they comment, the more it shows visibility through people’s extended networks on the different social media sites. That helps extensions as well. Word of mouth works as well. Even going on the offline world and if you’re working in spaces that have even something a little bit to do with podcasting or the topic of your podcasting, talking about it, having that quick 30 or even 10-second pitch to reel people in because the average person is fascinated by the concept of podcasting. It’s like people are now becoming familiar with it but they’re like, “I know a podcaster. I’ve never met anyone in real life who does that for real.” People are intrigued by that. It’s great to be able to have that quick ten-second hook and then to talk more in a clear and compelling way to explain what you’re looking for. I’ve even had people hand me over their phones and show them where Apple Podcast or Google Podcast is.

“Help me find it.” 

Carolyn Kiel

“What is this?” It’s like, “I’ll show you. Here it is.” Those are some good ways that I’ve found listeners and extended my reach.

I love that because I find that case, especially with some starter podcasters and they were afraid to mention it out there, I’m like, “Tell everybody about your show.” That’s the fastest and easiest way to get somebody to subscribe. You said you weren’t afraid of the mic and everything, but there’s a lot more production that goes into a podcast. How do you go about producing it in a professional way?

The show started in early 2018. It was early or late 2017. I was doing a lot of research and trying to understand first of all what equipment I needed. With podcasting, there’s no definite you need to get these exact pieces of equipment, this exact microphone. I did some research and I picked out a professional microphone that I invested in. That’s been a great investment. I’m still using that same mic almost two years in. I happened to have a mixer, which I don’t think everyone needs, but I like it because that lets me fine tune the levels and gives me easy access to the volume and all the different levels. I can plug in different devices depending on how my guests are connecting with me for the interview. I tried out different platforms for online and remote interviewing. All my interviews are remotely done over the internet right now. At first, I was using Skype but then I switched to Zoom because for me, that had a better connection and better audio quality.

Most of us have done that.

That’s what I figured. I also use Audacity for recording. Even if I’m recording in Zoom, I do a backup recording on Audacity because I’m still a little paranoid that something’s not going to work.

Something might have happened there at one point. 

I feel better if I had two things recording. That might be a little overkill. I’m a big fan of Audacity because that’s the software that I had taught myself years ago when I was managing my acapella group’s website back in the day before there were easy ways to upload and edit MP3s. Now it’s easy but back then, you had to cut up the file and then upload the file separately and then link it in. I learned how to do that. I was like, “I might as well use this software that I already know how to use and see if it works out for me.” So far, that is working well for me. Production, I give my guests instructions or coaching beforehand as far as how I would like them to connect so that they have the best audio quality. It doesn’t always work.

You get someone who is in an echoey room and you can’t do anything about it.

Be mindful and think about who can provide the best value for your audience, and go and target people from there as guests. Share on X

They can’t connect on Zoom for whatever reason that one time that you need them to. They have to call in on the phone, which is like, “That’s not as good audio quality.” I go with it. If it’s an interesting person, I’ll try to fix as much as I can with the production at the end. Even though getting good sound is the best way to ensure a good quality as recording that good sound in the first place. There’s only so much editing in production can do. From there, I do all the production or the editing in terms of adding the intro and the ending and cutting and editing the timing of the interview and trying to cut out some of the ums and ahs. Although I have been leaving some in because it sounds a little too robotic if you take them all out, at least for mine.

There are certain ones that you should leave and I agree with you. We try not to make it sound robotic at the end. You don’t want it to sound like when you run somebody’s song through it and it’s totally up. It’s totally digital at the end of it. There’s hardly any human left.

It’s auto-tuned or almost something like that. I’ll listen to the flow and I have a good sense of I can hear the emotion in the voice and what people are talking about. Maybe because I’m a vocalist and a singer, I like to hear the way that people’s tonality, sentence structure and speech patterns change. I’ll notice if I have a guest and I’ll ask them, “Tell me about yourself,” but it’s something that they’ve talked about several times. They have that pitch prepared so it will come out very smoothly. I’ll ask them about an emotional story. The total voice pattern changes and you get more of those ums and filler words. I leave that in because I think that’s beautiful. I’m obsessed with sound and now how vocal modulation changes. Podcasting has a great ability to convey emotion, connection and truth through audio, words and human voice. I definitely like to amplify that. I do have an editor who will help me with the volume and the levels to clean it up, mainly because that takes me even more time and I’d rather outsource that part to make sure it’s optimized for sounding good and good levels for podcast. In terms of all the creative production, I do that upfront.

About how long does that take all of that for you per episode? 

It used to take it to be a very long time and then I realized that I cannot spend eight hours editing one episode. It’s not going to work out. I cut it down. I became less of a perfectionist about it. I let myself go. I do two passes. I’ll do one pass where I’m cutting, making decisions, listening and making the creative decisions as far as what gets cut and what gets added and to blend it together. Then I’ll go through one more pass to listen and make sure I haven’t missed anything and that it still sounds good all together as one unit. I’ll usually send it to the editor to make sure that the levels are good and that’s helpful if I have the guest winds up calling in on the phone or their sound quality isn’t quite as good as mine. My editor is pretty good at trying to get it at least improved better. I try to have the best listening experience for my audience whenever I can.

For all of you out there, when you go to check out Beyond 6 Seconds, make sure you listen to it. Carolyn, because of the way she’s doing it, she’s making creative choices. She’s also selecting a little segment that she plays right at the very beginning. That’s a quote from our guests and you hear it in the guest’s voice and you hear what they’re saying and it sets the tone for a lot of what’s going to come and follow. It teases you into it and excites you about the episode. Not everyone’s capable of doing that because of the way that they produce their shows. Many people do straight live streams or other things like that. It’s a different way and a different process. This is a slightly more creative production value that you’re adding by doing that little snippet at the beginning. It does add a lot to the production value of the show overall. It sets a professional tone.

Thank you. That was something that I definitely knew I wanted from the very first episode. At the beginning of every episode, you’ll say like, “Today on Beyond 6 Seconds,” and there’s that clip that I’ll pick, which also is during the second pass, I’ll listen for that sound bite. It’s twenty-ish seconds longer. I’d be like, “That’s it. That’s the one,” and I’ll cut it out and I’ll save it for later and put it in the intro. I’m getting good at recognizing what will be a good clip that sets the tone. I like it because I didn’t realize that a lot of podcasts don’t do that. Some do but it’s different.

FYB COI | Beyond 6 Seconds
Beyond 6 Seconds: Podcasting has a great ability to convey emotion, connection, and truth through audio, words, and the human voice.


Usually, it’s a more heavily-produced or outside produced show and not an indie one. That’s where I think where it sets you apart a little bit. What I do find is that a lot of times when somebody is leaving that creative choice up to their editor, for instance, it’s not a good choice. It’s always a better choice if the host is making those decisions. There’s a very distinct difference between that. Kudos, you’re producing in a professional way and everyone should take a listen out there. She sets a nice bar. You guys should catch up and check it out. We talked a little bit about the first thing that we go about, the best ways to encourage engagement. You mentioned social media as a way that you ask questions and other things. What’s your favorite social platform and where do you encourage and receive the most engagement? 

My most common social platform is LinkedIn. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that before I started my podcast, I had spent a lot of time, I’d say many years building my network and being active on there, posting, commenting on other people’s posts and trying to get to know some of my connections on my network. There are people I’m connected to that I don’t know most of us who are on LinkedIn. It’s such a great opportunity to meet people on a professional level. I know maybe a lot of podcasters don’t think about LinkedIn because I think a lot of people still think of it as a place to park your resume or places to go when you’re looking for work or you’re trying to recruit. In the past couple of years, LinkedIn was trying to compete with Facebook and Instagram. They’re launching live video streams and more graphics and you can put videos there. It’s a lot of entrepreneurs, freelancers and business people. I interview a lot of entrepreneurs, freelancers and business people, those are where my people are.

I get a lot of engagement there and I have people who are a small group of loyal fans who are always very vocal about liking, commenting, sharing my posts. A lot of them are previous guests. Others are fans of the show or friends of previous guests. Plus, other people who are seeing those links, maybe not engaging, but I’ll get direct messages on LinkedIn from people who have seen those posts. They haven’t interacted with them, but somehow it got all the way out to their network. Even though I’m not connected to them, they’ll reach out to me, connect and usually ask me a question about the episode or maybe they want to be a guest or they want to learn more about podcasting. That’s my biggest community. I don’t know that it would work well for every single podcaster, but if you have anything that has anything to do with business or entrepreneurship or anything like that, LinkedIn is a great place.

Carolyn and I met because you were on Scott Carson’s show. You were watching it and I was on and I say on there that if someone wants to get the real me that they go to LinkedIn. I say that very regularly, “You can reach out to me anywhere on social media, but if you want to get the real me where I check it pretty much every day, it will be on LinkedIn.” You’ve listened to that and that shows a sign of good research and that’s where you reached out to me. Look at that, you’re now on my show, there you go. That’s also something that when you’re researching, that’s a great way to do that as well. I love that it’s the platform that you chose. It’s a good fit for you. We went to She Podcasts, you’ve got to be starting to think about, “Am I going to monetize this? What am I going to do about it?” Have you thought about maybe what might be the best way for you?

I go back and forth because, and I’m sure other podcasters experience this and probably other artists, creatives and musicians or people who do creative things like this as a side hustle or a hobby, is that almost everyone will start asking them like, “Do you make money off of that? Why don’t you make money off of that? When are you going to make money off of that? Why are you doing this if you can’t make money off of that?” It’s a little maddening for someone who considers themselves an artist or creative, “I started this because I wanted to have fun and talk to people.” That question comes up a lot. Honestly, I’m still thinking about it. After going to She Podcasts, I’m learning a lot of creative and alternate ways to monetize a podcast potentially because people always go to either sponsorships or selling advertising. If you’re a smaller show, that’s not as easy or there aren’t as many like easy obvious opportunities sitting out there. There are other ways to use podcasting to sell other products or services that you might have or leverage it into paid speaking gigs or using your podcast to achieve your goals.

One alternate reason I started the podcast was to put myself out there more so that I could find more opportunities for myself. I wasn’t sure at first like what that meant. Was it career opportunities? Was it networking opportunities to meet new people and learn new things and speak on different stages? That’s what I’m taking away now is that I don’t know if I’ll turn this podcast into a moneymaking machine, but I would like it to be an opportunity making machine. At least for me, my guests and certainly for my audience who are able to learn more from what my guests are sharing. I’m still processing.

We need to absorb some more first before we can distill it down into something. I love the idea of an opportunity making machine like that. That’s probably a good fit for your type of show too because that’s what all the people on your show are looking for too. They’re looking to get Beyond 6 Seconds to their bigger opportunity in getting people to know them better. That’s a great fit. You mentioned before that you had some celebrities on. Do you have a big get that you’d like in the future that you haven’t been able to tap yet? Maybe we tag them, maybe they see it, maybe one of our guests, one of our readers know. 

My big dream guest is Brandon Stanton. You may not know him by his full name, but he is Brandon behind Humans of New York or HONY. I’ve been following him for years since he started posting the pictures with the stories and the captions. I’ve heard him interviewed on Tim Ferriss’ podcast where he does talk about his story and it’s amazing because a lot of us, we see the end product. We’re like, “HONY, it’s everywhere. Look at all these amazing things that he’s doing.” He’s going to these different places, sharing stories, raising money for charities and to support people. He’s bringing a human connection and he’s writing books. He has a credible story where he was in the corporate world and I forgot if he either got laid off or got fired, but the job ended and he literally didn’t know what to do. He started saying, “I want to learn how to be a photographer.”

It's an amazing time to be in podcasting; go for it. Share on X

He was not a photographer, but he started literally wandering around the streets of New York and taking photos and getting over that awkwardness of asking strangers if he can take their photos. Anyone who’s spent time in the New York City metro area knows that it’s unusual to walk up to strangers and try to stop them when they’re rushing off somewhere and take their photo. Not in New York. That was his training ground. It’s like being a podcaster. We don’t go to podcasting school. Most of us have podcasting degrees. It’s literally like, “Here’s the thing I want to do. I don’t know how to do it, but I’ll take it step by step and I’ll fumble around. I’ll be uncomfortable and I’ll try things. I’ll get better and better.” Over a period of time, I’ll have this amazing thing and I’ll be considered someone who is an expert.

That is the best reason and the best pitch to get that person on your show. Not only is she a fan, she researched and understands his background, but she already has the story planned out in her mind that she wants to pull out of him and tie it to her own interests of what she’s interested in learning and what she knows her audience will be interested in learning at the same time. Carolyn, I hope we’ll be able to get them through this article and through this podcast. Get him on your show. 

I hope so. Brandon, please come on my show.

We’ll do our best. He’ll definitely get a Google alert about it. That’s the goal. What last piece of advice do you want to give for anyone who’s sitting out there going, “Should I podcast? Should I start this thing?” What’s your advice for them?

If you’re thinking of podcasting, if you have even a small idea or you have a curiosity about it, I would say definitely go for it. As we all know, it can be time-consuming. It’s a learning curve, but it’s something that has brought me a lot of personal joy, great opportunities and great connections that I never would have imagined going into it. It’s given me a lot of opportunities to learn and improve my skills and overcome a lot of fears of putting myself out there. I know a lot of people are concerned about like, “I don’t have a professional sounding voice. I don’t know how to do this,” but I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter. It makes me so sad when I hear people say that they don’t like the way their voice sounds and that’s a reason that they don’t want to go into either podcasting or broadcasting. The world has changed. We don’t all have to be like Walter Cronkite anymore.

We don’t all have to go to Nebraska and train.

There’s a diversity of voices out there. I’m obsessed with voices, so I love hearing people’s different tones, accents, inflections and sentence structures. There’s so much room. Podcasting, it’s becoming more and more popular. It’s growing and growing, but there’s still a lot of room for all people to come in and share their stories, share their expertise. Even if you don’t think you have any expertise, even if you have an idea, the way you execute it will be different from anybody else in the way that they’re executing it. It’s an amazing time to be in podcasting. I say definitely go for it. There are great resources to learn about all the different parts of podcasting. There are great communities of podcasters who are incredibly helpful and supportive if you have questions, want to learn or need some encouragement or information. I recommend it. It’s been a wonderful experience for me.

FYB COI | Beyond 6 Seconds
Beyond 6 Seconds: If you’re thinking of podcasting, if you have even a small idea or you have a curiosity about it, go for it.


Carolyn, thank you so much. Carolyn Kiel’s Beyond 6 Seconds, I love your show and I’m definitely going to become a subscriber and a listener after the ones that I’ve heard so far. That says a lot because I have to listen to a lot of shows every week. All of you out there, if I pick the show, then it’s saying a lot about how good quality it is and how interesting her guests are. Everyone, take a listen. 

Wasn’t that wonderful? I love the premise Carolyn has for creating Beyond 6 Seconds for going deeper dive into what people really are about, what their business is about, what their achievements are about beyond that resume. I love that perspective. I’ve enjoyed our show. I hope that you will reach out to her. You can of course find her anywhere on social media. I look forward to bringing you more interviews like Carolyn’s, but I need your help. I would love it if you would refer your favorite podcaster to me. All you have to do is go to and send us an email. You can send us a message through that. You can send us a message on LinkedIn, Facebook, wherever you can find us. You can find me Tracy Hazzard on LinkedIn. That’s where I’m the most active and I welcome other podcasters out there reading this to connect with me there. Put yourself in the running so you don’t have to wait for someone else to refer you. Tell me why you’d be such a great interview for my show.

I look forward to reaching out to as many podcasters as possible because I really want to broaden the view here. It’s something that I’ve been learning over the last, I’d say 50 interviews that I’ve been doing that there isn’t a lot of diversity among the tips. I want to get out there to some of the shows that I don’t have reached you, some of the shows that are super successful and some of the shows that are faltering because I’d like to understand why it’s not working for you as well. We can learn as much from failure or from mistakes as we can from successes. I’d love to explore both. I also want to remind everyone that we are in the process of always conducting research. It’s always happening here, but we have a concerted effort for some deep research. Depending on the time of when you read to this episode, it might be happening at this moment or it might be out and you might be able to get the information from it.

We are looking at doing some research on pod fading, understanding why people quit their shows, why they don’t succeed. If that’s you, if you pod faded and you’re reading the retool, then reach out to us and we’ll send you the links. All you have to do is send an email to and say, “I want to participate in the research,” and we’ll get that right out to you. If it’s too late and the research is over, we’ll be happy to send you the results. You can also send an email to the same address, Thanks everyone for reading Feed Your Brand Center of Influence. We appreciate your support. We appreciate that you have subscribed and read it and reviewed us on iTunes. We appreciate that you do reach out and connect with us on social media at Feed Your Brand and of course on our website, Thanks, everyone. This is Tracy Hazzard and I’ll be back next time with another great Center of Influence podcaster.

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About Carolyn Kiel

FYB COI | Beyond 6 SecondsCarolyn Kiel is an experienced training and talent development leader based in New Jersey, who helps global companies prepare their employees to succeed in changing business environments. She also hosts the Beyond 6 Seconds podcast, where she shares the extraordinary stories of everyday people from all around the world. Carolyn interviews entrepreneurs, creators and other leaders about their candid and inspiring stories: the challenges they’ve faced, the ups and downs in their journeys, and how they’re achieving their goals. Listen to the Beyond 6 Seconds podcast at or on your favorite podcast player.




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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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