How Actionable Business Strategy Can Actually Make Attractive And Bingeable Podcast With Annie P. Ruggles Of Too Legitimate To Quit

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy

 

You may have the best actionable business strategy to share with the entire world. However, no one would listen to it if you will deliver it through a monotonous and dull podcast. Annie P. Ruggles found the most effective approach to do this by teaching sales communications using her deep love of the 80s and 90s pop culture. She joins Tracy Hazzard to discuss the upbeat, friendly, and wacky format of her podcast, Too Legitimate To Quit. Annie shares how she invites listeners to take action and come back for more by giving them “assignments” and ripping off the final thoughts segment of The Jerry Springer Show. She also talks about treating her guests as family to create deeper connections, why getting celebrities are not always ideal, and how to effectively use a podcast to build a strong community.

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

How Actionable Business Strategy Can Actually Make Attractive And Bingeable Podcast With Annie P. Ruggles Of Too Legitimate To Quit

Sometimes podcasters leave such an impression on you. Annie P. Ruggles, my guest on the show, is one of those people. She has left such an impression. Too Legitimate to Quit is the name of her podcast, which I love. For over a decade, Annie P. has harnessed her Hulk-like disdain for hard sales, tacky self-promotion and overly competitive sleaze balls as inspiration to help people find better ways to grow their small businesses.

As Founder of The Non-Sleazy Sales Academy, she’s guided hundreds of people toward making deeper connections, lasting impressions and friendlier, more lucrative transactions and conversations. Hence her podcast. Her pride and joy is her podcast, Too Legitimate to Quit: Instantly Actionable Small Business Strategies with a Pop Culture Spin.

I had so much fun. Annie and I are both ’80s girls so we had a lot of fun chatting about all of these things and her pop culture spin. It was one of the most enjoyable podcasts I’ve had and I cannot rave about her show enough. You’re going to have to read this interview with Annie P Ruggles, Too Legitimate to Quit.

About Too Legitimate To Quit Podcast Host Annie P. Ruggles

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business StrategyFor over a decade, Annie P. has harnessed her Hulk-like disdain for hard-sales, tacky self-promotion, and overly competitive sleazeballs as inspiration to help people find better ways to grow their small business. As Founder of The Non-Sleazy Sales Academy, she’s guided hundreds of people toward making deeper connections, lasting impressions, and friendlier, more lucrative transactions and conversations. Her pride and joy is her podcast, Too Legitimate to Quit: Instantly Actionable Small Business Strategies with a Pop Culture Spin.

Too Legitimate to Quit

Follow Annie P. Ruggles on Social: Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube

Annie, thanks so much for joining me. Too Legitimate to Quit. I love the title of the show. Was that your first title or did you go through a few iterations?

That was my first title. I always overthink the titles of everything. It’s one of my weird quirks or kinks or I don’t know what. I was walking around and I had Too Legit to Quit stuck in my head. I was like, “I’ll just call it Too Legit to Quit. No, that’s somebody else’s IP. How do I make it business-y?” I said to myself, “I should call it something like Too Legitimate to Quit.” Proceeded to brainstorm for an additional month. Until finally, I was like, “That off-handed thing you said at the beginning of the brainstorming could have saved a month of your life.

We’re often right with our instincts.

I was like, “I could call it this or this.” It went from clear to clever, to crazy, to cutesy. It ran the gamut of all these naming styles. I was like, “You could just add five letters and then make it a different title plus an homage. Why don’t you just do that?”

It’s a wonderful title. I love the energy that it sets too. It’s setting that tone for what your show is going to be about. What made you start a podcast? Even getting to that point where you’re coming up with cool titles.

It’s interesting the evolution of how this show came to be. I never considered podcasting, which is hysterical because I was a voracious podcast listener. I was listening to podcasts about everything. History, psychology, not a lot of business. I wasn’t listening to a lot of other business podcasts so it didn’t occur to me to have a business podcast of my own.

Yet, everyone around you, if you’re in anything close to business or personal development, you are bombarded 100 bajillion times a day to get your content out there and make sure your content is uniquely yours. You need content, video and all these things. I was like, “I’m going to do it. I’m going to do a video.”

I am blessed and cursed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. When I fixate, I fixate. I got hooked on this idea of, “What if I could teach sales communications through the lens of the Golden Girls? How each of the Golden Girls would have a different selling style or strength.” That started the snowball rolling of like, “After I do that, I could talk about lessons from Colombo.” If you all can’t tell I’m an ’80s baby, the references are not going to stop.

I kept writing instead of making video or audio. I was like, “What is this?” I’m trying to figure out what this is. It’s starting to feel flat and one-sided. I have vast experience within my lane of experience but my lane of experience is very narrow. I have a vast deep love for pop culture. That happened between 1986 and 1996. It’s very broad but very slim. I started thinking about, “What if I could have conversations with people instead? What if I could bring other people into this joy? What if I could bring some of the names that are stuck being so serious all the time?”

“They’re considered experts in this very serious thing that is online business and marketing and sales. What if I can empower them to have a little fun with their content and look at things differently?” A lot of people are still not super comfortable on video so I thought, “Why don’t I just take the resistance out of it one step further? Have an audio-only interview-only pop culture, small business podcast.” That’s how it came to be.

Normally, I go a little bit further into the episode and talk about their bench factor. Here, I’m going to do it because you hit right on it. When I listened to your show, I know you were a listener. There’s a distinct difference. I tell the audience this. I can tell the difference between a podcast host that’s a listener and one that’s not. Annie Ruggles is a listener. There’s no question about that. It translates into the fact that this is a sales communication business development show disguised as an energetic gossip show. That’s how it feels to me. I feel like it’s Gilmore Girls for Business.

It has been called the TMZ of business podcasting. At first, I wanted to bristle against that and be like, “TMZ is so trashy.” I’m like, “No, TMZ is consumably bingeable to the point that you don’t realize how much you’re taking in until you look and go, ‘Did I browse that site for 35 minutes?’ Great. Let me be that podcast.” Learn while you have fun. I love it.

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy
Actionable Business Strategy: TMZ is easily consumable and bingeable to the point that you don’t realize how much you’re actually taking in. Too Legitimate to Quit embraced this format so its listeners can learn while having fun.

 

You should take that as a total compliment and go from there. We have to learn in whatever formats we’re comfortable in. Sometimes we need that nudge to force us to learn new things that are so important to us. If we’re willing to go and have fun, chat, listen to the talk show style and then get some takeaways at the end that we apply, good for you and us.

My dream for the show is not just to put out individual episodes that are fun and actionable. Although, that’s the day-to-day, week-to-week delivery of my show. I love hearing from listeners and guests on the show that one thing that they enjoy is the application of one of my mottos, which is, “Inspiration is everywhere.”

What I’ve heard from people, including my guests and my listeners, even the way that I do it myself is somebody will be watching something on Netflix at 2:00 in the morning when they can’t sleep. They’ll go, “That would make good copywriting.” See what he did? It’s good. It’s 2:00 in the morning. They’re binging Netflix. They’re like, “Hold on. Action item for my business. Make sure my next email includes this point.”

“Excellent. I’m so delighted you’re finding out that the world is unlimited free marketing and sales resources packaged as entertainment. Get after it. Fantastic.” That’s what I want. I want people to have fun and filter so that they can see what repels them and what attracts them is all around us. It’s not just in traditional advertising or somebody’s webinar.

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy
Actionable Business Strategy: People should have fun and filter so that they can see what repels them and what attracts them.

 

This is something that I think about a lot. There is this success factor that I see from the people who are able to synthesize what’s going on from a trend development standpoint from consumer culture. When you understand intimately how people buy or consume, you do a better job. That’s what we’re doing here on the show.

We’re talking about how people are consuming podcasts and what that translates into the consumption of your products, services, coaching and business. How do you make those two things tie together? You already have that skill and you’re almost, in a meta way, exposing it. You’re talking about these things that are inspiring you and that are like tie-ins. That seems maybe not as logical but in your brain, you’re sharing those connection points.

That frees your listeners to do the same thing. That’s important because when we sit back and treat our business like it’s a pedantic lesson like, “This is the process,” we reduce it down to that. No one takes it in at the end of the day because it’s too structured. It doesn’t fit my brain. I let it go. I lose it. This is why people don’t finish courses. They don’t read through the whole book.

Our brains are tired. Our brains are oversaturated sponges that we keep pouring more and more into. If you’re an online marketer or you’re running an online business, part of your job is to try to cram your bits and bobs into somebody else’s already leaking sponge.

The brain is an oversaturated sponge that we keep pouring more information into. If you’re an online marketer, try to cram your bits and bobs into somebody else’s already leaking sponge. Click To Tweet

Additionally, the point of you being a podcast listener makes the difference right here is the fact that those of us who say, “I’m in social media but I’m not on Twitter or Facebook.” That drives me crazy. You cannot be a good expert in this if you’re not in it and consuming it yourself.

One thing I said at the beginning was that when I first went into my podcast journey, I wasn’t listening to any business podcasts. Approaching Episode 100, I have not only interviewed some of the most brilliant business podcasters in the world. I have subscribed to and binged their shows. Listening to their marketing and sales shows not only makes my show better but also makes my business better. They live up to their promise.

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy
Actionable Business Strategy: If your guests have their own podcast, subscribe to them and binge their shows. Listen to their marketing and sales shows to make your own much better.

 

Not that you could only find inspiration for your business or your show, from other shows on podcasting or marketing. You can fight it with Ghost Hunters, Sasquatch and all the weird stuff I listened to. I was afraid to see what else was in my lane because I didn’t want it to get tainted or my vision to get tainted. I didn’t want to get jealous or competitive. Instead, I find the wealth of podcasts available to be inspiring on a multi-time-a-day basis.

My job is to go listen to your show. I can tell you that there’s this, “I have two interviews today. I’m going to have to listen to six episodes.” That’s how I do it. The day before, I’m like, “Are they going to be good?” I don’t know. Yours, I’m like, “I love the show.” It happens to me more often than I expect and I end up loving it. I learned something. It’s new input into it. I may not have the time to fully binge that show but I’ve spot-binged it enough to know there’s something great going on here. I’m learning something and taking input in. I agree with you. We get a little caught up. It’s why I’ve not written a book. I’m a voracious reader and because of it, my book is still sitting on my shelf and not published because I got myself into paralysis. It can happen but it can also inspire.

I didn’t make my audiograms for three weeks. It wasn’t even an act of active resistance. I straight-up forgot. Until my wonderful, beautiful, loving assistant whose job it is to send these out to my guests and to babysit me, in general, was like, “This spreadsheet is empty.” I went and was like, “I guess I didn’t fill in the spreadsheet.”

I went in Headliner and was like, “I guess I never made the audiograms. I’ll add it next week.” I went downstairs. I said to my husband, “I might be a little burnt out considering I didn’t do this thing that was such a part of my routine.” That happens all the more reason to go out, seek inspiration from other podcasts, meet other podcasters and showcase other brains with your message.

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy
Actionable Business Strategy: Go out and seek inspiration from other podcasts. Meet other podcasters and showcase other brains with your message.

 

If you have a you-only show or you want to do a you-only show, that is your prerogative. I’m certainly not trying to say that you are not interested enough to have your solo show. I’m sure you are. However, nothing reignites that love and feeling in me. Nothing gets me more excited to share my show week after week than introducing my listeners to the magnificent brains that come on and gab with me.

It is such a joy and it still showcases me. People say, “Are you going to be able to make any money if you’re always promoting these other people?” Somebody’s got to ask them questions. Somebody’s got to interject in between them. Like you so lovingly said, it sounds like a gossip show. I’m all over it. In some episodes, I talk more than they do and then I look at the transcript and I go, “Annie showed up a little.”

That was one of the first things I said as I was listening to the very first episode I picked, which is your most recent one. That’s my process. I go to the most recent, your first and the middle. I was like, “There’s a lot of her in it but it’s working.” It’s a fine line. It works because you have such an energetic personality that is off the chart that is infectious. That’s why that works for you. It might not work for everyone. I do want people to be cautious of that.

It’s a whole dial though. Some podcasts are incredible, hostless and curated audio. There are four-hour-an-episode solo shows that are incredible and everything in between.

The way that you do that piece where you’re talking where it might be a little bit longer sets a new tone. It nudges the direction of the conversation and it ups the energy every time you do it. That makes a big difference in the quality of the show overall. Your guest doesn’t know you yet. You’re moving the needle to where you want it to go by doing that in each episode.

I’m so glad you called that out. I call it my final thought because I grew up secretly watching Jerry Springer on days when I pretended to be sick. One of my favorite things about watching the Springer Show as a kid is the craziest, wildest stuff I could imagine would happen for about 56 minutes of TV including commercials. People throwing stuff, wigs flying, elbows were being thrown and women flashing the camera. At the end of this pure chaos, a very poised put-together Jerry Springer would say, “I’ll be back in a second with my final thought.”

They would go to whatever commercial. They would come back. Jerry would be on a stool. He would look at the camera. You would understand how at one point he had been a mayor because he looks at the camera and would say something wildly profound. I remember as a kid being like, “Did he see the same episode I saw?” He made this a beautiful point about self-compassion and that chick threw a turtle at that other chick. I was worried before I knew I was going to babble the whole time on my show about how I would still have something that was mine. I was worried because I considered myself a writer, that I wouldn’t have that thread of me. I thought, “Have a Jerry Springer final thought.”

That’s the inspiration for that. I was going to ask you about that and I love that that’s what it was.

Every single episode of my show after the interview can go any number of ways, much like a Springer show. I tell everybody, “I’ll be back in a second with my final thought,” which is a term ripped off of Springer directly and their homework for the week. I have a pre-written thing that I record. Just me. Normally it’s 1 to 3 minutes.

I do that so that week to week, my listeners have a little touchpoint that’s just me. No matter what comes up in the episode, I can make sure I deliver on my podcast promise, Instantly Actionable Small Business Strategies with the Pop Culture Spin. The pop culture part’s been delivered. No matter what happened though, I got to make sure that they have something to do.

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy
Actionable Business Strategy: No matter what comes up in the episode, make sure you deliver on your podcast promise.

 

That’s why I give them homework week to week because then I’m fulfilling that promise of action. Not only that but in the community beyond the show, then I give them something to do together. I wouldn’t have that if I didn’t carve out that final thought. That’s one of the things where people go, “Sometimes I’m so busy and your episodes are so long. I skip right to the final thought, is that okay?” I’m like, “If you need homework that week, sure.”

Their feedback is that they’re skipping you. That’s a sign of a great show, Annie. You should be so proud of what you created. When I heard that you had homework on it, I thought, “How would this work? “I didn’t think it would work but it so does. You’re talking about the not-serious sit-down write-up. You’re talking about contemplating to make them take an action and do something.

It is in that format that we’re learning from what we did. You help us formulate that. You help us get it to start gelling in our thoughts over the next week, which makes us look forward to hearing you again. You’ve created that forward bingeability like, “I’m not going to miss the next episode.” You’ve done that. It’s called open looping when you leave it that way and you open the loop to something back and something forward. In your case, you’re making me desire that feeling of, “I got something out of what I wanted to get.”

I’m putting that in my Christmas letter in 2022, Tracy. I have forward bingeability.

Let’s talk about the three things that everybody’s always curious about. Every podcaster’s struggling with these three things. We matched on PodMatch. I love the AI because they should have matched us together. We should be on every match.com. We should be friends. The AI seems to know that. It’s doing phenomenally well to put us together here. You have a bigger process with how you manage your guest. You alluded to it to me earlier. We want to hear how that whole guesting piece works for you. How do you manage it? How do you engage them? How do you get them moving forward? How do you get great ones?

The thing is I show up full bore the second that they show up on my Zoom. I don’t hold back. In my day job, I teach sales. I run The Non-Sleazy Sales Academy. That’s what the podcast is all for. Within that day job, I am constantly making sure that my clients are not shapeshifting or tone shifting in between their content and delivery because it’s like, “Who is this?”

I don’t want to give my guest that whiplash where they show up in the green room and I’m either myself and then we start recording and I’m like, “Thank you so much for coming, Tracy.” Alternatively, which I’ve also experienced, people are like, “Here we go.” You’re like, “Who is this person?” I show up like I’ve already known everybody and I have researched them.

Research helps because it helps set the tone and ease everybody in. I have a spiel that I make sure I get in about what I expect, how things are going to run and things they need to know like, “Is it swear-friendly? How long are we going to go?” All those different things. I sit there and show pure, actual, unbridled enthusiasm that I get to pick this person’s brain for free.

How many of us have been shamed about not asking people to pick our brains? We get it. We all have had people who want to pick our brains. We’re like, “If there were anything left, you could pick it but I’m tired.” However, when you’re about to interview someone, the best thing you can do is give them the gift of enthusiasm, curiosity and attention that’s real. That is regardless of your listener.

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy
Actionable Business Strategy: The best thing you can do when interviewing another person is to give them the gift of enthusiasm, curiosity, and genuine attention.

 

If you are wrapped in attention, your guest will feel that and your audience will sense that and they’ll pay closer attention. I don’t get people delivering their pat, stale and flat. Number one, my form has a personality when they fill it out. Their invitation has a personality when they throw it out. I’m inviting them to a pop culture show.

You can do this whether or not your show is funny, fun or not by showing that present and that little bit of green room time you get before. Honestly, what makes my show different and how I’ve built a community around my show is I would get so frustrated. Like you said, “Thank goodness PodMatch matched us. Thank goodness that AI did its job because we finally got matched up.”

It drives me bonkers and we did this in our green room. I’m like, ” You don’t know my friend Deb Eckerling, you got to get Deb Eckerling. Do you know Aaron Baker who’s this week’s TLTQ guest? You got to know Aaron Baker.” It would make me cranky. I’d be like, “No. We are all podcasters. We are all in the same boat together doing magnificent things. The fact that bestie A and bestie B don’t know each other is not okay.”

I let my guests know that they are also joining a voluntary community. It takes physical form on LinkedIn. It’s called The Legitimati. Everybody’s welcome to join it. Additionally, I have parties for my guests. I am constantly introducing my guests to other guests. I do a lot of guesting myself. I do a lot of pod swaps. That’s all community building based on my unbridled enthusiasm and curiosity about the gift of the brain that I am receiving. As long as you don’t hold back on showing that appreciation, the community can’t help but form around your show. All you have to do is go, “I got to send an email here. Let me tag two people on this post.”

By doing that though, the guest must share. They feel so good coming out of your interview that they can’t help but share that episode. That’s where it goes wrong for a lot of podcasters that they don’t get the shared quality from the guest. It was that they weren’t invested in the moment of the show itself.

I’m guilty of this too. If I have a super shiny interviewer, a less shiny interviewer, one where I felt like the host and I were long lost cousins or something, I’m going to put more stank on that episode on social because it means more to me. That’s true. Another thing if we’re talking about shareability which is counterintuitive about podcasting is there’s a lot of pressure on landing big names on your show, the celebrity guest.

I’ve had some celebrity guests. It has been a delight to interview my celebrity guest. Did I get a big bump in listenership because of my celebrity guests? The answer is no. Why? It’s because they don’t need my show. They’re celebrity guests. They’re busy. They’re on a million shows. Their listeners chime in no matter what they do.

They could read a cereal box and their people would love them. Do they try? No. Nice for name recognition? Sure. Nice for going out and getting other big fish when you can be like, “I had your fancy pants friend on, maybe you should come too.” Sure. However, I call this the assistant principal effect. If you go after the principal of a school because you’re trying to sell the school, that principal is busy and that principal does not need you.

The vice principal has something to prove. The vice principal gets none of the glory and most of the work. Why are you not putting the vice principals on your show? If people come to me and say, “My list is small. My business is new,” I say, “What do you have to share?” I don’t even ask them how they’re going to share the show. I say, “What do you, in your brain, have to share that my listeners need to know? What is your perspective or vantage point?”

I have people apologize to me for the size of their Instagram when applying to be on my show. No. I hear people all the time, “I can’t have so and so because they’re not a name.” Help them become a name. Get a buddy in the game and also give them great content to share because they’re hungry for it. I have the podcasting stats to prove that you can bring a person with no list on your show.

If they show up with full heart, you will have multiples of the number of listens on your celebrity guests because you believe in them on their way up, not because you’re showcasing someone that’s already in the spotlight. Don’t sleep on the smallest people. They have just as much to say. If not more so, they are unsung heroes. They will be grateful and will get in there and share.

Don’t sleep on the smallest people. They have just as much to say as famous individuals if invited as podcast guests. They are the unsung heroes. Click To Tweet

They will work their butts off. Annie, I could come through the screen and kiss you because I’m so tired of being the broken record and saying this to people. I tell the John Travolta story because that was my celebrity. I tell the story about how bad it was. It was a bad interview. It was bad sharing. Everything about it was bad. It’s the same thing. You are so right about this. My goal with some of the things that we’ve been doing is to make sure that the podcasters that I have been committed to podcasting, do not have the super high listens. The ones that don’t have the super high listens are the ones we learn the most from because they’re working their butts off on it.

I’m not knocking anybody in the top 5% but they got there by doing all the hard work to get there.

They don’t talk about it.

It’s built-in. From the guesting side, I’ve experienced the same thing. Number one, I’ve had people tell me that my list is not big enough to be on their show. They want to charge me 4 figures or 5 figures to be on their show. My response to both of those things is no. I’ve also been on some super big shows that are in the top 1%, 0.5% or 0.05% podcasts as a guest. I’ve delivered great content on those shows.

I’ve also delivered great content on shows that don’t even rank on podcasting yet. I’ve been interviewed number one for people. Guess where I made more money? I have the receipts for this. Big show, I expect it to make $1 zillion. Did I? No, I didn’t. Little show, I expect it to maybe get a handful of listens and didn’t expect any clients. Did I get clients from that? Yes. Why? Partnership with the host or partnership with the guest. Showing someone that you don’t care if they’re a big fish, they’re a big fish to you.

Let’s talk about listeners. Listener growth is every podcaster’s biggest dream. They all want more listeners. That’s partially true. I would like more of the right listeners but still more listeners. What do you feel like you’re doing that’s working? What are you thinking about trying next?

I love the next. I always want next. One thing that I’m doing right is providing the homework. It’s one thing for me to take an hour of someone’s time to make them laugh while they do the dishes. At the end of the day, one thing I think I do well, which leads into clients in the long-term but listeners in the short term, is I do provide that actionable, tangible takeaway that grounds my show week after week.

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy
Actionable Business Strategy: Providing that actionable, tangible takeaway helps ground your show week after week.

 

I’m very painstaking about what that is. Sometimes it’s a soft scale. Sometimes it’s a hard scale. Sometimes it’s filled out as a worksheet. Sometimes it’s a ten-to thing or whatever it may be. If it’s not going to move the needle at least an inch, it doesn’t go into the homework. Week after week, the listeners know, “I am overwhelmed. I’m stressed. I’m a small business owner. I have too much on my plate. What am I going to do to move the needle this week? Annie will tell me what to do. I got three minutes.” At least I can get my three minutes at the end of the episode if I can’t listen to the whole hour. If you don’t like the pop culture thing, you might get the whole hour.

That’s the other thing on listeners that I think I’m doing right. Having an expert is one touchpoint that might bring them in. Having that expert’s expertise, topic, content and thought leadership is another possible lure. Having the pop culture piece is another possible lure. Using this episode as an example. I’m interviewing Dr. Aaron Baker. They may be a perfect lure. I love Aaron. Their brain is magnificent. Maybe someone groupies of Aaron will run on in. Aaron wrote a book about joy and how joy is an extremely necessary and profitable business engine. If I’m curious about that, I may come in on the idea of joy.

We also talk about A League of Their Own. If I’m in A League of Their Own, a movie or series, then I may come in that way. However, I understand that not any of that week-to-week may be for all listeners. The other thing that I have done to make sure is for binging to happen because I don’t see a lot of sequential binges on my show. I don’t see a lot of, “I listen to episode 91, then 92, then 93, then 94, then 95.” I see lots of cousins and grouping. One thing that I do is provide my listeners with playlists. For example, if you are looking at the episode, League of Their Own episode. A League of Their Own was a major movie in the 1990s. That episode is on my legitimate ’90s playlist.

In my show notes, it says, “This is part of the legitimate ’90s playlist.” If you go to the legitimate ’90s playlist, you’re going to see a whole bunch of other ’90s movies, TV and music right there that you can choose from. Why? You’re more likely to binge if I’m meeting you where you are. On the flip side of that, I also have legitimate selling and social media.

If you’re hungry for social media content and only social media-based content, you can also go over there and get your actionable needs met. One of the things I would implore you all to do is have fun with the exploration by asking yourself the question, “How will your show be binged?” There are ways other than just episode binge.

TBF Annie Ruggles | Actionable Business Strategy
Actionable Business Strategy: Have fun with the exploration of creating a bingeable podcast. There are many ways to do it other than just releasing one episode after another.

 

I’m glad you said that because that is the next for a lot of people. As they hit 100, that’s the perfect time because it’s too many, at that point, for people to scroll through. It’s the perfect time to start playlisting your shows or grouping them. Frankly, it’s why we built our show cast player. We have a show caster player. We built it with playlists, in mind, because this is so critically important to get people moving through the episodes that are going to be most beneficial to them. It’s the one that will make them stick around and listen to the new episodes when they come out.

I have the playlist. What I’m excited about next is to rock those playlists even more.

You’re thinking maybe about finding guests to add to these playlists and finding topics that you can talk about that are going to build on them.

Going out and doing social listening on those things. If I’m out and I was listening to your show, I didn’t even know that the bibbidi-bobbidi business existed. I’m like, “A) That person, why are we not best friends? B) How did this podcast sneak past me? C) Why hasn’t she been a guest on TLTQ? Also, why isn’t she sponsoring the legitimate Disney playlist? She has a business Disney podcast. I have a legitimate Disney playlist. Why are these things not touching?”

There should be cross-pollination.

That’s the thing. I can look at building ecosystems around those playlists now that I have those playlists.

It’s the homework that you mentioned at the beginning of this conversation that we’re having about listener growth. The homework is an interesting way to keep listeners. This is as important for everyone to think about. The reason we want a bingeable show is that we keep our listeners. The more we get in their ear, the more they’re like, “What is she going to say next? What’s the next one going to be about? I don’t want to miss it.”

It’s about them then sticking on to listen to the new things as they come out. When they listen to the new, they’re not picky about it because they have no idea what they’re getting into when they listen to it. They are listening through to figure out what’s going on. That homework is a bug in their ear. Even if they don’t do the homework, they’ve got this like, “I was assigned homework and I should be thinking about this. I should be doing this.” You are still in their mind throughout the week until they hit the next episode dropping. That’s important. You are bringing them through by inviting them to that next episode.

One of the best pieces of show mail I ever got made me feel like a little demon for three days. Somebody sent me an email. I have this little box that says, “Evidence to the contrary for Imposter syndrome.” I print out these things where I put my little cards in there because everybody has bad days. I put this little note, printed it out and put it in there. It said, “Hi, Annie. I want to let you know I paid $495 for a one-on-one session with a coach. She told me to do last week’s TLTQ homework as the big payoff of the episode. Thanks for giving me for free something I paid $500 for.” I was like, “That’s terrible and awesome.”

I put it in the next steps. I mentioned it in the next episode. I was like, “Last week’s homework was worth $500, $495 to be exact. Get after it if you didn’t do last week’s homework. People are charging for this information.” I was like, “That’s terrible.” I’m not trying to take money out of anybody’s pocket. It is a tangible way to provide value for people whose shows are supposed to motivate and inspire action. True crime podcast is probably not going to have homework. Maybe activism homework, which would be great and I would love to see it. They’re not going to be like, “Go out and try to poison someone.” If you’re a parenting podcast, a lifestyle podcast, a cooking podcast, a relationship podcast, a psychology podcast or a business podcast, give them some homework. Come on.

Let’s talk monetization because, in podcasting, everybody’s always concerned about that. I guarantee there are lots of alternative or wonderful fringe opportunities that have come your way and other things that have happened to you because of your podcast. What’s been the clearest monetization for you? What do you want to see more of?

Relationship-based affiliates. If you have been reading this episode, that shouldn’t surprise you. I treat my guests like family. My guests become my family. If I’m on their show, I make sure I love them up and share it a ton. I make money from my podcast. I do no advertising. My show isn’t big enough yet. It’s rapidly growing.

Serious advertisers want that big money and list. My show is still growing. We’re less than two years old. We’re sitting right in the top 2%. We have some room to grow still. Yet, I’m not hurting because my BFFs that become my BFFs on the live mic while I’m interviewing them, not in the green room, an email before or the follow-up after, get me and understand me. I make sure that in the moments following, we understand how we can mutually support each other.

I get a lot of referred business from my guests. That has been a phenomenal revenue stream for my business. I have also gotten a handful of clients directly from my show. Let me tell you where I went wrong on that because I did. Sometimes if you have a business show or if you have a show that is related to your business, your show doesn’t quite match your business. The Non-Sleazy Sales Academy and Too Legitimate to Quit are buddies, they’re not twins.

I am an onion and I like to talk about things other than just selling, which is my bread and butter. I talk about other people’s shows, except this wonderful show who lets me talk about other things. Thank you, Tracy. What I didn’t do well was explain the gap between the NSSA and TLTQ and how they’re both me. If you want access to me, then you can go into the next step in my action item. I didn’t want it to be the Annie P. Ruggles show. I was big on that. However, I’m trying to get people to pay me. It’s right after my final thought that they had an adulterated me. Maybe I should have owned that a bit more. Now I do.

1) Do not hide in your call to action if you’re trying to monetize. Drive them to you, not another collaborative project, if you’re doing an interview show. 2) Call to action, please. I did this so badly. If you go back into my original episodes where the ending hasn’t been replaced with a more current ending, it’s like, “Thanks so much for listening. Here are 45,000 things you could do, every funnel I’ve ever done and 17 other interviews you can listen to. Don’t forget to rate and review.” If you want to monetize, what is the next action you want your listeners to take? I got them to listen. They did their homework. Now, what do I want them to do? I want them to go join The Legitimati and post their homework.

Do not hide in your call to action if you’re trying to monetize your podcast. Be sure to drive them to another collaborative project. Click To Tweet

One show, one call to action, one place where I can have that centralized thing. Do them joining Legitimati going to make me money immediately? No. It’s a longer-term funnel. Coming into a LinkedIn group where everyone is constantly being like, “Annie, this episode is amazing. I’m so glad I did my homework. It made me $500,” is going to bring me into some business indirectly. There are longer-term goals like building that ecosystem around your show, which you can monetize. There are also shorter-term goals. The people that will bring you money quickly are your affiliates and probably your guests.

Annie, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you. I’m so glad you gave us a takeaway about this call to action. Non-Sleazy Sales Academy, I love the synergistic sales communication messaging that you talk about. What other types of things do you think from the business side of what you do that podcasters should utilize?

I touched on it before but let me reiterate it because it is that important. It’s two steps. 1) If you are not using podcasting to network, you are missing the joy of podcasting. With that being said, if you are using podcasting to network but you are not using that network to build an ecosystem involving other people’s favorite brains and not just your brain, you are missing out.

If you are using your podcast to build your network, you are missing the joy of podcasting. Click To Tweet

This happens daily in my world. It even delights me equally or more than my show when I see two people who didn’t know each other, who are highly complementary, serve each other. Either as partners, contractors, new friends and support sisters. Why? A) I’m a pre-people. I love when my people love my people. It makes me feel good. I’m an only child. I love to be surrounded by love. Maybe it’s a childhood thing.

Every single time, one of those people has a touchpoint with the other person. Even if it’s subconsciously, my name comes back up to the surface as a connector, as someone in the know, as a generous person and as a person who is willing to go the extra mile to make sure they got their next opportunity. People will be exceptional and most of your interviewers will be. If you show up ex exceptionally, most of your guests will rise to that occasion. You set the bar.

At the end of every single episode, I want you to ask your guests what other shows they want to be on. You know that. You can make it an introduction. I make introductions constantly and the same thing, I said to you in pre-chat. Before we even recorded it, I’m like, “I know incredible podcast hosts. Whom do you want?” When I’m a guest, I ask the same question in reverse. “Who do you want on this show? Whom do you need?”

I have a whole list of people in my head waiting for Tracy. Those people rely on me because they know that without a second thought or even a prayer of monetization, I’m going to get you and them connected. How is that going to turn into immediate money for me? Who knows? Let’s find out. What it does turn into is a lot of gratitude. Gratitude you can take to the bank.

Drop the mic right there, Annie. That was perfect and such a great takeaway homework. Let’s go build our networks. Think about how you can use your show to create that community. Annie, thank you so much. Too Legitimate to Quit is a show not to be missed.

What an endorsement. Thank you so much for having me, Tracy.

I love this model of a business show disguised as a talk show or a gossip show. That’s what her show is like. It’s got a lot of fun injected into it in all the right places but some great actionable items come out of it in the end. It’s fascinating to see this model work so well. A lot of this is Annie. She pulls this off in such a great way.

It’s what she’s interested in and excited about. It’s the uniqueness she brings to her podcast in such a great way. This is a model that can’t be pulled off by everyone but there are some of you out there who could pull off something very unique to you. Take a note from Annie P. Ruggles and the Too Legitimate to Quit podcast.

Plus, there are lots of great tips, talks and all kinds of things that she gave you in that episode that you might want to make your notes. I look forward to having you listen to Annie P. Ruggles. Check out her show. Take some actionable items and put them into your plan for your podcast. I will be back with another great podcast host to give you another perspective on podcasting.

 

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is an Authority Magazine columnist, former Inc. 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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