Intangible Business Podcast Success Metrics with Jess Dewell of the BOLD Business Podcast

TBF 62 | Podcast Success Metrics


In order to create a resilient podcast, you have to be bold and think effectively on your feet. This episode’s guest is a strategic advisor who specializes in working with companies at the critical point in development where they want to make the right decisions right now. Tracy Hazzard interviews Jess Dewell, the host of the BOLD Business Podcast. In this conversation, Jess introduces us to her bold way of doing business and how to solve big problems without expensive solutions. She also talks about how she uses her show, how it works for her, and why she keeps doing it. At its core, Jess’ success comes from the intangible business podcast metrics that she has set up that helped her show grow into what it is today. She shares with us how we can rethink our own metrics to benefit us more while also letting us into the best ways she has found to book great guests, produce a show, monetize, and more.

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Intangible Business Podcast Success Metrics with Jess Dewell of the BOLD Business Podcast

I have the host of the BOLD Business Podcast, Jess Dewell. Jess has got a cool show. First off, she’s got over 250 episodes and a tremendous amount of experience. She started in 2017. She brings over twenty years of advising and consulting where strategy and operations intersect. Both her practical and unexpected, her views tune into the uniqueness of your organization. Companies working with Jess learn to ask the right questions and think effectively on their feet. Jess is a strategic advisor and specializes in working with companies at the critical point in development where they want to make the right decisions right now. In addition to sitting on privately held company boards and facilitating the CEO Infusion Mastermind, she produces the BOLD Business Podcast when not working with leaders to make companies successful.

She’s spending time with her husband and son in Boulder, Colorado. In our talk, Jess is going to introduce us to her bold way of doing business and how to solve big problems without expensive solutions and that’s exactly what she’s done and used her podcast for. I’m excited to bring her on the show and have her talk to you about how she uses her show, how it works for her, and why she keeps doing it. Even though maybe the metrics you would think are not always the real benefits to you, your business, and yourself. We’re going to talk a little bit about how we can rethink what those metrics might be. Let’s talk to Jess Dewell and the BOLD Business Podcast.

About BOLD Business Podcast Host Jess Dewell

TBF 62 | Podcast Success Metrics

I guide startups and small and medium-sized enterprises. Driving solutions and leadership, the teams I work with learn to ask the right questions and think quickly on their feet.

As an interim executive I guide development of a powerful culture of performance and help solve operational limitations. My skills include supporting leaders’ and teams’ development facilitating their abilities to determine both what needs to be done in order to grow and how that growth will be achieved.

As a Board member, I help steer companies toward a sustainable future, supporting executives and monitoring products and programs and market trends. My role protects and nurtures the company’s vision, mission and values across the arc of rapid change.


Jess, welcome to the show. BOLD Business, I like the bold title.

The Bold title is what it’s all about and you can put bold in front of anything and make it much more exciting. 

I’ve got to try that with my kids, “Bold vegetables,” maybe it will work.

Get it to work with cello lessons. I did say, “It’s bold to be challenged,” and when you practice, it’s actually facing a challenge. I have a nine-year-old and he’s all about, “I’ve got to overcome things. I’ve got to conquer this stuff,” and I accidentally stepped across that. I’m like, “It works for cello lessons.”

You are my new guru mom. I’ve got to try that. You have over 250 episodes. Congratulations.

Thank you very much. That’s this one, I have 150 from another show that my technical producer Scott and I did. We are veterans at this and I love the last ten episodes of our program the most, Tracy.

Tell me about that because you’ve got these episodes that are highly produced. For those of you reading out there, this is a highly produced show. It’s got segments, multiple guests, and it’s got to be a lot of work, which we’re going to talk about. You also have these shows that are called Uncharted and I have to say that I liked the Uncharted episodes.

The very first client that came through the BOLD Business Podcast funnel said, “I missed those episodes and I want them back especially during a time when I’m facing uncertainty as are all of my clients.” We came up with uncharted to mix into the highly produced podcast as well.

Talk about how this started.

I like to talk, Tracy. More importantly, I like to listen and so it’s easy for me to start up a conversation. What I was realizing is I have amazing conversations with people and I want to have them all day long and other people could benefit from this too, especially around this concept of resilience that doesn’t have a direct ROI. It’s an expense that we have to carry along, but it saves our butt in the long run. There are a lot of things around this and I was like, “Why don’t I just start sharing these amazing conversations?” We started recording them.

How did you get hooked up with a producer, change it into that strategic show that you have?

Podcasting allows you to get people to know who you are. Click To Tweet

When we first started doing this, I think Carter was two. I keep track of how long things have been based on my kids’ age. We’re going several years now. He and I were like “What if we did this? What if we did that?” We did a lot of live shows for our first 240 episodes. Half of them were live-streamed. We did them, no matter what happened off we went like you were watching your news in the morning. I decided I wanted to try something different. I’m like, “We’re good at this. Why don’t we change it up and see what else we can do?” I was listening to some of the podcasts out there and I liked a few of them, but I was like, “I have to make business even a little more exciting, a little more something that wants to keep people all the way through to get to the nut of that conversation.” We switched up and we added this highly produced program.

It’s changed a lot overtime over the past.

It’s going to keep changing because I don’t want to get bored. Tracy, I don’t know about your podcast and all the work that you do with your coaching and consulting, but if I’m bored, I’m not going to have a good time. If I don’t have a good time, I’m not going to be a good contributor. It’s all about me in that case.

This is such a good lesson for readers out there because this is the thing, I have the luxury of being able to start up a new show and it not being profitable. That’s what I do when I get bored. I’m like, “I’ll just start up a new show.” Occasionally, I go back and revive an old one when I get interested again. That happened for those of you who heard me talk about our 3D Print Podcast, I didn’t think I would do it after 600. I was a little sick of it, but this thing of being able to do it within your show construct of what you’ve created BOLD Business as a title, and as a concept works with so much pivot. It has resilience built into it, Jess, which is so smart. That makes a big difference because you worked hard with this audience.

We’re not growing a lot, but we do get new listeners here and there we have a very loyal regular audience. We know that people are finding this useful and valuable. I would say when we switched to this highly produced show was the last time that we had a huge jump earlier. We launched it in November of 2019, this new style. That was like, “Look at that. I guess we needed it.”

I love that that worked out for you. Thinking about this and thinking about the future of the show, you started to add in these Uncharted episodes. Tell me a little bit about the structure of those and how they came about?

They are more like the fly on the wall conversation. Based off your audience, I think they’ll get this too. We have those pre conversations or in our world, we call them the green room, even though we’re not in a green room. It’s those conversations that are the most telling. They set up to tell me what questions and where do I go during the conversation? They’re a little more at ease. People who come to talk to me are more at ease when they’re not on air. I set these up to feel like they’re not being recorded so that we can figure out what is the challenge that they’ve faced? How did they decide to go forward? What has that result been? There’s no coaching, there’s no nothing. There’s just this concept of, “I had something to face, I’m facing it. This is what I’m seeing so far,” because that’s what we need as the leaders of anything, the founders of anything, and the starters of anything.

You air it that way. People are getting this like, “I get to have coffee with so and so,” which is fun. That’s working for you. You mentioned something that I want to go back to. You mentioned podcast funnel. Your guesting strategy is a funnel strategy. Let’s talk about that a little bit. What does that look like?

Here’s the scoop. Until you said it, I don’t think I ever thought about a guesting strategy to become a client strategy. I have always wanted to find something out and I knew somebody else would want to know it too. I went and I found the guests that could help me and then the people that listen are totally different. That’s where we have the funnel focused.

Tell us about how the structure works for you?

In that structure, we didn’t even know what to expect. I was like, “I wonder what will happen? How do we do this? What’s it going to look like? Does it even make sense?” A lot of people want it from, I don’t want to say notoriety, but a notoriety point of view, they want to be known. They want to be heard. In the world of consulting when you finally talked to me, Tracy, we have to go back. I want to see all of the skinny clothes in the back of your closet. I want to see the old lingerie that you don’t bring out very often. Most people can’t get that deep quickly, that level of intimate detail to say, “Here’s what’s wrong with my business.”

TBF 62 | Podcast Success Metrics
Podcast Success Metrics: We want people who are listening to invest in themselves by consuming our content. We don’t want them to like us just to like us or to support us just to support us and be ad-free.

The podcast is what allows me to get people to get to know who I am, how I think what some of those approaches are, so that when they call which happens to me on a regular basis. They ask me a question and I’m like, “Tell me a little bit about you?” “Let me tell you about me.” Every single time I’m taken by surprise because every single person has said, “I already know you because I listen to your show.”

“I already know you because I binged on all your episodes.”

We found out we had a funnel.

This is something I try to get people who are thinking about starting. That this is the reason why you start because what you do is you find out those activated listeners out there who are going to become your great clients. If you aren’t sure, if you don’t have your marketing dialed in, if your demographic and psychographic sounds like everybody’s, “I would love anyone between the ages of 20 and 50 who have a business, or an entrepreneur.” How many times have you heard that, Jess? It’s too broad, so we’re narrowing it down. If you don’t have any way to find that out, because you haven’t been in business long enough, or you haven’t gotten this broad client base as you’d like, this is a great way for you to do that because they will reach out to you.

I’ll add to that. There’s a third one. That third bucket is, “I live this. I act to plan.” I could think all day long, but I will never take an action. I have to go do an action to figure out what I’m supposed to think about so that I can figure this out. I was glad that it lined up that way for us as we explore that. I approach everything that way. I’ll be real, everything I act and then I plan.

At least you’re not hoping because that’s what we say here. Hope is not a plan. Taking action is not a hope. It seems like you don’t have trouble diving in. Not too much intimidates you, but there had to be some things that were daunting about podcasting or getting started using a microphone. There had to be something that was a learning curve for you. What was it for you?

It was the to-do list for each one.

You made it harder for yourself having such a highly produced show.

Even before that when we were live, we had three buckets. We had the pre-production, actual production, and the post-production, which we did whether it was a live stream or if it was a recorded to be done later. There were still a lot of steps but they took a lot less time. I’m glad we chewed on that first and we’re good at when do we handoff, who do I need, how do I handoff to, and what happens? If something mucks up the works, can we bypass that somehow or work around it and fix it later for the next time? We were so good at that as a team, this highly produced show. We used to do eight programs in a month and it took a certain period of time, which I cannot tell you off the top of my head because it’s daunting and big.

We take the same thing and we do it for one show, so the amount of time it took us to do eight is the amount of time it takes us to do one. We’re spending the same amount of time. We’ve changed up how we’re spending that time. That was a neat accidental discovery because I’m like, “If I do this, how much time is it going to take?” Sequentially, it’s a six-week process for us from finding the guests to getting the final music, and getting it uploaded to Libsyn to be launched at 11:00 on the third Tuesday of the month.

You’re doing a monthly show now, but it’s like a compilation of what would have been a weekly show. Jess’s show is an hour. You’ve got a good hour at a time that you’re getting her. There are three guests, typically in most of your shows, that’s a lot to distill together. It’s a lot to pull. It’s a lot to plan. Because you’re being picky about whom you’re choosing to express the expertise that you want to talk about, the topic that you want to talk about, that also takes time. That’s the time I recommend all of you out there, spend the time finding some great guests that can talk and are interesting. If you’re going to spend your time somewhere, spend it there because it’s worth it.

More heads are always better than one. Click To Tweet

I heard you say one of my favorite things in the entire world about work, do all your thinking upfront.

I usually talk about the binge factor a little later, but I want to hit on it now because this is your binge factor, Jess. Your binge factor is the fact that you bring us people that are experts on a topic, but we probably haven’t heard from them before and that you found us hidden gems. That’s a huge amazing skill that doesn’t happen often in the podcasting world. Everybody wants the same old guests. They want to have all the names on their list. You go for, are they right for the content? That means that we’re getting quality people.

Thank you for saying that right now.

Your format of the show wouldn’t matter and that’s why your Uncharted works. That’s why the highly produced one works. It doesn’t matter. It’s because you have these amazing people that we had not heard from before, but they’re talking on a topic that we care about and they are deeply expert.

I’m not exactly sure how I do that but they’re willing to share.

I think it’s your bubbly personality. They feel like, “I’m not on the microphone. I’m just talking.” Let’s talk about that some of the things that you do because you’re spending a lot of time promoting. You’re doing a lot of things. Let’s talk about our five lessons learned. Some of the best ways you’ve found to find and book these great guests.

Don’t be afraid to ask. I spend a lot of time researching and some topics, what I found if people are a little nervous or they’re like, “I don’t know if I want to talk about that.” I do have some topics that are hard to fill and we have waited because it’s not the right time. I haven’t found the right people, but it might take me five asks to fill one spot. I’m asking fifteen people to fill one show, that’s going to have three interviews in it. The lesson learned there was, I was like, “Everybody’s going to say yes right away.”

I’m going to stop all readers out there. If Jess sends you a LinkedIn message or sends you a message and says, come on the BOLD Business show, go ahead and say yes, just do it.

You’ve listened to the show, you know I’m asking some tough questions. I’m asking them how they apply their expertise in their own world. I’m asking, how do they move through a challenge around the topic that we have? That’s the part that I appreciate the most only because that’s where we’re all struggling. It’s where if I don’t have that problem now, I know I’m going to have that problem later. I have created this library of 251 shows that is on-demand as I need for whatever problem around growth, operations, and strategy that somebody might want to take a look at to ignite what they’re doing or look at a problem in a different way.

I’m going to get back to that one when I get to number five here. How do you increase listeners?

We don’t know that yet. I know I changed the format, we increased listeners. We had something different. I also know that by having one show a month that is highly produced and thoughtfully put together combined with an article. People would call them blog posts, but I write an average of five-page articles for each one of those blog posts that highlight the expertise that’s going to be coming on. We also make a trailer intro video. We’re able to use those two pieces. Plus, we’re engaging our community, which is not a group. It’s the business community out in the greater world. That’s where my socio-demographic is like, “If you have something to say on this, I want to know who you are because I get to learn from you.” We have those community posts as well. We spend a lot of time promoting each one of those which seems to have very much helped us get the right content to the right people when they need it versus, “Here’s a whole bunch of content, good luck.”

TBF 62 | Podcast Success Metrics
Podcast Success Metrics: It doesn’t matter if the sales cycle stays that long. It matters to reduce the amount of time from the initial contact to when you know you can help people and they’re ready to take that step.

It sounds like you’re going into one of my next ones which is encouraging engagement. You’re encouraging engagement and pre-engagement in that community which makes them want to come, listen, they join, and then they subscribe because they enjoy it. How do you encourage that engagement in these pre posts, the trailers, and all of the things that you do?

In addition to all the production stuff that’s going on with the podcast, at the same time we’re looking at, what are the current trends that are out there? What kind of question do we want to ask around this topic from our greater community of business owners at different levels and stages of their career, and in their business growth? We ask a poll and we put that poll everywhere we can think of for three weeks. In addition to that, I do a live stream with our guests and the guests come back and they answer a different question in the form of this poll for us. Then we’re using that to generate, “What did you do? How did this work for you? Do you have any advice there?” At the end of the three weeks for that whole thing, we’re gathering it all up and we’re sifting it into a format that can be shared back out and promote all of the great knowledge that we have across everybody because more heads are always better than one.

It’s got a whole ecosystem of how you’re working it, but also you’ve got to produce like a pro for this. There are so many moving pieces to your show and so much of the team that does a lot of that for you. What do you think is the most critical factor in producing a podcast like a professional?

For me it was Scott Scowcroft. He has been producing with me since I started all those years ago. What he and I have learned is not only do we have a rapport and we can talk together. In a pinch, we could get on and we could record a podcast anytime ourselves. Behind the scenes, he figured out that in this new highly produced show, we had a key element and my element is the ability to respond. That’s like one of my superpowers. You stick me in a room and I might not know anything about anybody. I might not know anything about any problems, but within fifteen minutes or less, I will have a sense of the room. I’ll know where the authority is, I will understand what’s not being said, and I will be able to know what is the right question to keep this conversation going. It’s that responsiveness that was a big hang-up for us.

Finally, Scott goes, “What if I made you an audio of all these clips with space in between, you just listen and you respond.” I’ve already put the arc together. I’ve already put all the clips that we want in some order, but we had to get my part into the podcast as well. His idea was, “Let’s not do it like everybody else does it. Let’s try this out to see if it works better for my ability to edit you in and your ability to be responsive, and have something that you’re excited about.” We figured it out and I have become a one-take wonder.

That’s amazing because often producers like to plug you into their formula. Instead he said, “This is just brilliance. Let me find a system that will work for her.” Good for him. Great job, Scott. That’s what I think happens. Often people will start a show and they’ll quit it because it didn’t fit them. It’s because they try to force-fit into a formula they thought would work or a format that they liked listening to but wasn’t skilled for their particular style. It doesn’t work out for them. I love that you did that. Good job. I love the professional production side. Our last one on the list of best ways, we’re going to talk about monetization. You found a path to getting clients, what have you done to monetize? What have you done to encourage that flow through to clients?

In this new season that you’ve been listening to, this highly produced version, our third season. We decided we didn’t want to have ads tucked in for whatever reason because I want the people who want the content. I didn’t want to ever be torn of, “I could make a little bit more money if I just did this.” That’s where my quality value shows up. I said, “That’s great and that works for a lot of people, but that’s not going to work for me in this particular content and what I’m trying to strive to do, and the problem I’m trying to solve for people.” We went the supporter-listener route, which could be fans, Patreon, or something like that. We call them supporter listeners and it was a great big flop.

I can tell you how many people will say at this level, “You should get a Patreon,” but I’ve yet to hear one that was successful.

Here’s the thing. I think it’s there. People love the idea of it. I think I put the wrong door. I feel like I have a front door where the garage door should go on my house with this.

That’s a great analogy.

Experiment number one failed. We took action. We decided to do this. We came up with all this great content. We came up with this great system. We put the infrastructure in place and we called it supporter listener. The people who are listening to our show don’t want to fans. They want to solve their own problems. They want to be better at their role. They want to do this and this was an epiphany in the middle of the night. After we get done recording, I have what I call a President Retreat every week where I’m going to spend several hours, locked in my office with no interruptions.

Podcasting is a marketing investment hands down. Click To Tweet

It’s a completely protected time and my whole focus happens to be, “What do we do with this supporter listener thing? What do I have? How might I want to position it?” We want people who are listening to invest in themselves by consuming our content. We don’t want them to like us, just to like us. We don’t want them to support us, just to support us and be ad-free. That’s great and all, but I think more importantly is the investment in themselves. I have to go back to the drawing board for experiment number two.

You’re going for long-term resilience with your show here. That means we’ve got to keep tweaking it. We’ve got to keep it with what’s going on today too, which is what you’re also responding to. Here’s the biggest weak point for you. Where do you think that in the model of what you’ve been doing, where you feel like since the beginning of podcasts I still haven’t gotten this yet. I’m going to keep working at it, but I still haven’t gotten it yet?

I don’t know if it has to do with the podcast, but it has to do with the fact that I love the underdog. I tend to take the underdog route. I tend to take the road less traveled and see what kind of issues I run into, like with the monetization piece. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won’t, but I’m willing to try it out. I’m willing to stick with it for the end game, not necessarily the now game. I know that some people, including some of my advisors that sit on my advisory board say, “This isn’t good enough. You don’t have enough results, so we’ve got to change it up now.” I keep giving them a pushback. I would say my biggest weakness is potentially letting some experiments run too long.

That can happen. When should you change it up? When should you say not good enough? I think that you’re at the right place. Then I was going to ask you about the return on investment. I’m assuming your programs are not inexpensive. You’re a consultant.

I’m a consultant with long-term engagement. There are projects that come and go. My average client is like, we have relationships for five years. I’m close to six years right now. I wanted to up that to above seven, last year. We’re on the right path for that.

I see that’s the shortsightedness. What I think sometimes advisors and other people get into is that they discount the idea that this show may be continually supporting your client base and creating that longevity for you. I have one of our clients, who’s a chiropractor out in New Jersey, Dr. Kevin Pecca. He’s got a show that he believes helps him close patients faster. They come in for a consult, and then they hesitate because he does X-rays as a part of his thing. The initial fee is a little higher than your average chiropractor but he’ll hear and he’ll listen to them. They’ll say, “My aim is to get back on the golf course,” or whatever it might be. He’ll say, “Why don’t you listen to podcast number fifteen where I talk to so and so, or where I talk about this. I think it might be of interest to you and hopefully, that helps you.” If you decide you’re ready to start with us, we’re here for you when you’re ready. They’ll listen to it and then they’ll come back to him. He finds his close rate is high without him having to have multiple calls or multiple patient visits, that kind of consult, or it drops off too fast because you can’t do that in a patient situation.

I’m glad you shared that. I wrote that down. That is noteworthy for a general process because our sales cycle is long too. In the world of where chiropractors are at, it’s a pretty quick turnaround. A sales cycle for what we’re doing at Red Direction, where we’re talking about long-term resilience, we’re talking about organizational structure. We’re talking about all of the way people work together. Those are not instantaneous changes but they’re instantaneous results. They are not changes that stick without practice and guidance, practice and guidance, and so to get to the point where somebody is ready to do that takes a lot longer. I love this idea to re-highlight a past podcast because when I know their pain point, it’s like, “I can make you a playlist by the way.”

I do this so often because I no longer service my show, Product Launch Hazzards. When I was a high-end consultant for product design, it was my lead generation. People would warm themselves up and they would just call and go, “I’m ready to work with you.” I’d be like, “You’ve got to tell me about your project first because I don’t just take any project. Let’s have a conversation here but that’s great that you want to work with me.” My sales cycle went from six months to close clients to two phone calls. I have more questions than it was them saying anything.

In your six months sales cycle to two conversations, I’m totally happy to let that work as long as I don’t have to be in it. That’s my goal. I want this. I don’t mind if the sales cycle stays that long. My job isn’t necessarily to reduce the sales cycle. It’s to reduce the amount of time from the initial contact to when I know I can help them and they’re ready to take that step.

These are return on investments that Jess has gotten in her show, but they’re not always the ones we think about. We don’t count them because we didn’t go, “Somebody clicked a link and then paid for something.” It’s not a direct result. These indirect results are sometimes the most valuable. If we remove the show, what happens? The danger is the what if? What if I stopped doing this? This is where I think you could be greatly helpful to them. How you start to make that decision is, “Am I making it out of fear or am I making this as a smart business choice?” My gut instinct is saying, there’s a good play here and it’s working for me because you’re getting to have those conversations which is making you a better consultant.

I’ll now be real. I am not immune to the things I teach other people or that I help other people do. I have to do them for myself too, Tracy. I’ve heard you talk about that as well. I had no idea and then I had to take my own advice was some of the things that I’ve heard and got to the point I had to decide. At the beginning of the season when we were making these big changes, I was like, “I know what this investment is. I know what it helps me do in a non-direct way, so how does that show up? What does that actually mean?” We decided hands down podcast is solely marketing, period. It’s fulfillment for Ms. Jess right over here. Right at the top of my list is my husband and my household. The second on my list is my son. The third on my list is my podcast and my dog. They are a tie and all above. You get to four and it’s like way down so much of a less of a priority. I was like, “If I want to do this and that,” because I didn’t want to stop, I like it, and I’m learning. I’m a better person. I’m a better consultant. I can ask different questions and seek out information that can help others. We made a marketing. It’s a marketing investment, hands down.

TBF 62 | Podcast Success Metrics
Podcast Success Metrics: It doesn’t matter what we’ve got and where we’re at. It matters where we go and where we’re going to meet.

You have some people like brand awareness campaigns, they have different purposes, but let’s call it what it is and then keep going until we find that’s not working for us anymore. It’s a great advice. The last thing I want to get is a resiliency expert to comment on how to become a resilient podcaster.

An example I always give about resilience is sometimes we don’t know what kind of resilience we’re going to need. At schools for everybody who has kids and in our house, we have this and you may have this in your household too. We have a fire drill. We know if that alarm goes off, it doesn’t matter what we’ve got and where we’re at. It matters where we go and where we’re going to meet. That plan, we practice it. It takes time and effort, but especially in a school or a big building, moving that amount of people around is not easy. If nobody knew what to do, there would be more chaos. I liken resiliency to the fire drill. I never had to take action on a real fire from a fire drill. I did have to for pot, for tornadoes. I grew up in Kansas. I did have too for tornadoes, but never for a fire. Somebody else will have that for an earthquake, but maybe not for a tornado. We have these things that we do. To be resilient is to know what is that process. What do we want to do? Then invest in recognizing. Sometimes that’s not efficient and that’s okay. It’s the right thing so that we can move forward from A to B together.

Jess, thank you so much for coming on the show and teaching us some BOLD Business tips and BOLD podcasting, which I absolutely enjoy. Everyone out there, you’ve got to check out her show, BOLD Business Podcast. Jess Dewell, thank you so much for joining me.

I told you she was bold. I told you she was going to be interesting. Jess has got quite something going on there in the way that she approaches everything. She’s got a couple of different models working together in the way that her podcast is. She shifted it over time and done some different things. She’ll probably shift it again so that these are some things to consider. When you go and listen to Jess’s podcast and to the BOLD Business Podcast and you hear the current format with what she was explaining, that multiple pieces. The different quotes that are happening or the different soundbites you’re hearing from the different guests. There are some things that she’s doing that’s smart that you need to remember if you’re going to create this highly structured show like this. First off, you need a format. Lucky for her, she had a great producer who is working with her, who found a format that fit her. That’s beautifully brilliant right there. That’s one thing that you need to have a much better plan for how you do things.

Secondly, when you choose your guests and you have different voices on there, sometimes the voices can sound similar. If you’re looking them and you’re doing video, video is a lot more forgiving because I see their faces. I can occasionally glance when I’m like, “Whose voice was that?” I can glance at my screen even if I’m not totally paying attention, but when you’re only listening on audio, if there’s a tonal quality to their voice, or if there’s something very similar in the way their voices sound, then you have to be very good. Jess does this well of saying their name before you throw to that clip or their name before you ask them a question, if you’re going to do it in more of a panel style. This is something that I always like to do. I always like to close my eyes, listen to their voices as I’m planning out. If I’m going to have multiple people on my show at the same time, or if I’m going to pull a panel together of any kind for doing some Q and A session. It can get very confusing not only for you as you’re doing it, but for your listeners. That confusion can get them to tune out and then they may not listen all the way through a show.

I’ve got some shows that are doing great traction and all of a sudden you hit this one. You’re like, “I thought the topic was really good. Why isn’t it working?” It’s probably something like that where they got confused about who was speaking. It was hard to follow because of that. Jess is doing well with making sure that she’s choosing specific people and she’s being very concerted about it, spending a lot of preproduction time to go out and find them. She also goes out, vets them, and makes sure that they’re sounding good for what you want to do because that’s critically important as well. I’m glad I was able to bring you the show because it’s unique and different in the way that it runs. After 250 shows, she’s got something that’s working and a model that is great to follow if you’re looking at how you might want to structure what you’re doing. As she pointed out, with big production comes big planning.

Make sure you’re thinking all the way through these types of choices that you’re making and you don’t take on something that is going to be overwhelming for you that you quit. Start smaller, take some baby steps, and make sure this is something that you want because you can always get more complex, refine it, and to do it the way that Jess does over time. Your audience comes with you, she’s proof of that. Everyone, listen to Jess Dewell, BOLD Business Podcast. You can find all the links and all the connections to her at Red Direction, which is the name of her company. I’m always looking for bold new podcasters and where some have gone and that others have not, I would always love to see that difference going on. If you’ve got one and you’ve got a different show or you know one, and you’re listening to one, you’d like to serve up to me, make sure you go to and apply. Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve been enjoying the show as much as I enjoyed doing it, interviewing it, connecting and building relationships. Please reach out to me @TheBingeFactor or @HazzDesign anywhere on social media.

Don’t miss Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Jess Dewell too!

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard

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