Lessons From A Binge Listener’s Perspective With Jennifer Otto

TBF 47 | Binge Listener Perspective


These days, there is a slew of podcasts catering to every genre that it has become easy for audiences to find their particular favorite and get hooked. Joining Tracy Hazzard in today’s episode is Jennifer Otto, a binge listener and Jen Du Plessis’ biggest fan. Jennifer has been a mortgage lender for 25 years. Today, she shares her binge listener perspective about her love of podcasts, ballroom dancing, and what prompted her to reach out to Jen du Plessis.

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Lessons From A Binge Listener’s Perspective With Jennifer Otto

I have a flip on our episode. I’ve got a binge listener for you to talk about The Binge Factor, to talk about what she looks like. I met her because I have a podcaster named Jen Du Plessis, who’s a part of our Podetize platform. Jen was talking to me about how she was shocked when she got contacted by her biggest fan and what it felt like to be reached out by a binge listener and I said, “That would make a great episode. Do you think she wants to come on the show?” She did. I’ve got Jennifer Otto. She’s a 25-year mortgage lender. She’s got two adult daughters and a dog. She loves ballroom dancing and she loves podcasts and that’s why she’s coming on the show to talk about that. I’m thankful to Jen Du Plessis for introducing us. Jen’s show is Mortgage Lending Mastery. That’s the one that Jennifer has been binge listening to. Not just that, she’s done more things with Jen since she reached out to her. I’m going to let Jennifer talk to us about that. Everyone, let’s talk to a binge listener.

Jennifer, thank you so much for coming on and being our first binge listener that we get to talk to on the show.

You’re welcome. I’m happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

How long have you been a podcast fan?

Probably for a while.

When did you realize that you were binging on them, constantly listening or listening to all episodes in someone’s series?

It was probably when I started with a true-crime podcast and it was following a lady who had gone missing in a small town in rural Georgia, which isn’t too terribly far from me. When I realized that there was this whole other world of podcasts out there and all of this material a lot of people put out for free, I started wanting to see what else was available. Because I’m in the mortgage space, it followed that you would listen to mortgage podcasts. I started listening to a few. As I was trying to find one that I enjoyed, I stumbled across an interview on another podcast with Jen Du Plessis and then I went and found hers and it was a rabbit hole from there. I am an avid listener and started at the oldest one that was on the site and have binged as far forward as I can go with my time.

At what point, in following Jen, did you decide to reach out to her? Obviously, she introduced us. I wouldn’t know that you were her binge listener, her biggest fan. I wouldn’t know that if she hadn’t introduced us. At some point, you must have reached out to her. What made you do that and how many episodes in before you did that?

I was probably 40 or 50 episodes in and she was talking in one of them about her website and some of the things that she offered. A fun fact, I’ve been in the business for a long time but I’ve made a change from being in support to being an originating loan officer. That was part of the reason I got into her podcast. It was about at that episode 50, she was talking about ballroom dancing. I was standing in the bathroom and my husband was sitting on the bed and we were getting ready for bed. She started talking about ballroom dancing and I was like, “That’s it. I love this woman. I have to meet her.”

“I want to emulate everything about her business. I love ballroom dancing. I love the way she speaks to people.” I love everything about her. I went to her website and I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do and so I reached out to her from there and was like, “I want to get this program.” She was in the transition of doing away with, that’s how we talked. It was funny in the first conversation I was like, “I’m such a fangirl.” I wanted to go, “I’m talking to Jen.”

This is such a funny day because I interviewed someone who I’m a fan of, a writer who I follow and I read all his books. I read his column all the time and all the articles he writes. I fangirled out on someone myself and now I’m interviewing a fangirl. How fun is that? That’s classic though, that we find something that we’re interested in learning about and then we find someone who resonates with us like you have found with Jen. We want to know more about them. We want to consume more of their things. You’re following the model of what we’ve been telling people out there. If you build these wonderful binge factors and you’re authentically you because Jen is her. Who she is on the show, is not a persona. Have you discovered that with interacting with her in real life?

Yes. I attended her workshop. I enrolled in her class. The culmination of that class was a workshop in Florida. It was great. I told her and I had warned her, I was like, “I’m going to fangirl out on you in person because I’m getting to meet you in person.” She’s absolutely as genuine and warm as she comes across on her podcast, even moving forward in coaching further with her. She truly has such a heart for people and that comes through on her podcast and getting to know her and her family and the little nuances that she’s dropping in her podcast. I’m like, “I feel like I know you. I know where you go to church. I know your husband’s name and your kids’ names.” It’s this social media thing. We like to be that peeping Tom, if you will, where you get to peek in on people’s lives and what they share on social media. Podcasting is them getting to share their voice and their thoughts and all of those things. You get an inside peek into what they’re thinking and how they go about stuff.

You’re tapping into something fun and fantastic. As hosts of shows, we don’t often get connected with fans. The fact that you reached out is valuable and helpful. Usually, we hear from people when they dislike something. We only hear the negative. We don’t always get to hear the positive until they go far and that’s what I discovered as well. It was about 100 episodes into my first show and someone reached out to me on social media and I thought, “People are binge-listening to me? That’s crazy. I didn’t even know that was a thing.” It started to cascade into more people finding little ways to reach out to me.

TBF 47 | Binge Listener Perspective
Mortgage Lending Mastery

I remember one time, you were talking about ballroom dancing, it’s personal but it’s a side story. I was talking about ordering ice cream over Facebook and having it delivered to my house from this woman who had an interesting business model. I was talking about it from a business model perspective but I was talking about the idea of ordering ice cream and that we did do it. They reached out to me and go, “What flavors did you order?” I didn’t say it on the show. They’re frustrated with me. That was that moment that I realized, “I have to complete the whole story for everybody.” I’ve got to remember to give them a little bit more detail than drop this little personal touch that I like ice cream.

That’s fun.

Did you end up taking ballroom dancing? You may not have. Are you trying it may be on your own from YouTube while you’re sequestered? You’re in Georgia so you’re out.

I had been doing ballroom dancing before I found her. It was another tick box that it was like, “Yes. I thought I loved this woman. I am convinced now that I do absolutely love this woman.” She’s a dog lover. It’s all of the things. It was fun.

Let’s talk a little bit about your listening habits in general. I want people to learn what it’s like from a listeners’ perspective. You’d be shocked that many podcasters are not listeners.

That seems folly to me.

Doesn’t it seem crazy to you? It does to me too. Many of my clients, I have over 330 or so and many of them are not listeners. I always thought that was unusual. A listener adapts to different methods when they’re searching for new shows. You heard Jen on another podcast and then you decided to check her show out. What’s the process when you went to check her show out? What did you do? What is checking someone’s show out that you think you might want to try?

I liked what she was talking about on the podcast and I thought, “I’ve not ever heard that before.” Thankfully they put a link to her podcast in the show notes of the podcast I was listening to and went straight to it and was like, “I always want to look to see how many episodes are there. When was the most recent one put out?” If it’s something that’s not currently actively dropping episodes, I don’t want to invest the time. Unless it’s a story but if its business-related, I want to see that there’s something current.

When I saw she had many episodes and I love the way she started it, her first 4 or 5 episodes were quick. It was monologues where she was explaining her philosophy and how she ran her business. I’ve listened to those few episodes more than one time, even since I’ve been in her coaching. I’m in her coaching program. I’ll go back and listen to them because there are things that I’m like, “I forgot about that.” It’s easier for me to listen to podcasts than necessarily watch YouTube videos or something like that. If I’m driving around, I can pop in my podcast. I mentioned to you before that I like to listen to things at a fast speed because I’m a DI on the DISC profile, so I want all of the things right now. If I could listen to two podcasts, read a book, and watch a movie all at the same time and grasp information, that would be amazing.

You have to have an accident and your brain is adjusted to be able to do that. I hope you don’t get to that stage.

When I met and found her and I saw that it was actively still in production, I said, “I definitely want to listen to this.”

When you went back to the first episode and you were testing it, did you read the description or did you listen to that first episode?

I listened to it. I listened to them all and I’ve gotten to where I’ll start jumping around a little bit more with the description of the episode. For the first probably 60 to 70 hours, it was all straight binge listening to it. When I was walking in the morning on the treadmill, on the way to work, on the way home, I would lay in bed and listen to it at night, and in the shower. I bought a special speaker to listen to it in the shower.

We only have 24 hours in a day. If you're trying to better yourself, what can you do real quick? Click To Tweet

You listen to all your podcasts, not just Jen. Let’s be clear on that, Jen. We might be treading over into the biggest fan territory now.

It was all the time because, at the time, I was still working my support role jobs. I couldn’t listen to it at work because I was still writing at a desk from 9:00 to 5:00 so I had to find every extra moment to try to listen and absorb as much information as I could.

This is what I want you all to know out there, readers. I’ve been harping on this for as many episodes as I’ve done, which is close to 100 or something for this particular show. What she’s saying there is clear. When you want to learn something, when your personality is, “I’ve got to get it today instead of tomorrow,” then you’re on that path. You need to be able to consume it in any which way you can and it helps you grow. That’s the point of it. You used it to help you grow, shift your business, and shift your model of what you were doing into what you wanted to be doing, and that’s fantastic.

It shifted my mindset. It got to where I felt like I was parroting out of my mouth the things that she harped on so much in her podcast. At one point, my husband said, “You sound like Jen on your podcast,” because he knew. I was like, “Today, on the podcast, Jen said this.” As if I knew her, and he’s like, “You do realize you don’t know her?” I’m like, “No, but I will. I’m going to.”

Some people think that being a podfaster is a bad thing. I’m a podfaster, too, so I get that and that’s because I’m impatient. I talk fast, so I think fast. That’s my thing as well. Being a podfaster is a benefit. Being able to get through that content in a quick way allows you to cram a lot more than other people, so it’s a competitive advantage.

We all only have 24 hours in a day. We hear that all the time. If you’re trying to better yourself, even audiobooks, I listen to everything as quickly as I can. Also, YouTube videos because, “I have ten minutes, what can I do quick? Can I listen to podcasts? Can I watch a video?” We all have limited time. While I was sitting waiting to talk to you, I had a podcast pulled up and I was listening to that. I do like to listen to some for fun, but I do tend to be intense. I do listen to a lot more motivational things or business type of things because I do feel like it’s an investment in my future. People will give you so much information on podcasts and it’s fantastic. You can learn how to do anything and it’s crazy.

Because you’ve listened to a lot of different types of shows, tell me some of the things that annoy you the most about shows. You don’t have to be specific enough to out anyone. I’m not going to make you be the mean girl.

Honestly, I don’t think I make it past for a couple of episodes if they do something that drives me nuts, so I can’t put my finger on it. The things that I tend to enjoy more are I am taking a foray into comedy. My husband said I’m always too serious that I need to have a little bit of fun in life. I am picky with my comedy, so I haven’t quite found that. Everybody I talk to, I always ask them, “What are you reading? What podcasts are you listening to?” I always have a running tab of things that I’m trying out. I love true crime stuff. I don’t know that I have anything that annoys me.

If you quit a show after a couple of episodes, what’s usually the factor?

Either I don’t like the personality. Either they’re too crass or they’re too slow and boring. It doesn’t grab my attention that I’m not like, “I want to listen to that podcast.” If I don’t feel that way, it’s probably not for me, so it’s not anything specific. If it just doesn’t excite me, then I don’t listen anymore.

Some of the factors, that little detail things like if the sound is bad, it can get to you after a while. Are you a little more forgiving? That when a show starts, it’s worse than it gets better over time or you’re like, “If I like the host, I’ll give it a chance.”

Of course, as long as I can understand what they’re saying. I don’t necessarily need the bumpers, all of the music, and all that because honestly, as a podfaster and as you know, music sounds funny at 1.5 speed.

We’ve heard it before because we listened to it five times in a row. We’d rather just skip it right now. We’re getting some great lessons that podcasters can apply. You said to be human, current, and helpful if you want to learn something. Those are great ongoing things that almost anyone could do. We don’t need to be specially trained to do those things. It translates to how the listener receives that. Do you go out there and ask people what their favorite show, podcast, or books are? Do you ask them that whenever you meet them?

TBF 47 | Binge Listener Perspective
Jen Du Plessis

Yes. I’m not going to give too much of Jen’s program away, but she has a great mini-course, and that is How to Go From Intro to Income. It’s around the whole networking thing. As I am meeting people at networking events and trying to build my network of people I want to work with, part of getting to know them is asking them, “What are you reading now? Are you listening to podcasts? Do you like Audible books? Do you like Kindle books?” Some people are still physical book people. Some people would rather listen to books because they’re in the car, walking their kids or whatever. Some people, I still am amazed. I’ve talked to many people who don’t listen to podcasts and I’m like, “I have a list of things. I’m going to send you this one and this one. Check them out and see what you think.” I’ll have people come back to me and go, “It was such a great podcast. Thank you.”

When you get to know more about someone, you can be more custom in your answers. You’ve got such a broad repertoire of shows you listen to you can share. That’s great and valuable, Jennifer. Thinking about those shows that you end up listening to, all of those hosts should be grateful to you that you’re not only a fan, but you share it, which is the ultimate goal. When I used to design products, I used to say it wasn’t just that I wanted somebody to buy the product that I designed, but I wanted them to buy it, use it again, and rave to their friends about it. That’s the same thing I have applied to content, to the podcast, and everything that I do. That’s a good approach. The minute you’ve hit on that, you’ve done a great binge factor yourself. You’ve tapped into that. I love how much you’re sharing and what you’re doing with everything. Did you know Jen is starting a new show?

I did not.

I’ve gotten to give you that big reveal. She’s starting a new show and she gave me permission to mention it out there because what I want to know is if Jen starts a new show that’s called Success to Significance, would you be interested in following her there?

Yes, I’d love that.

It’s off-topic. You’re not sure that that has something to do with real estate, but it still has Jen in it, so why wouldn’t you?

What’s funny with what you said is one of my core values is significant. Anything that has significance in it, I’m like, “Let me check that out because one of my core values is significant.”

When I heard that she was doing that, I thought, “It fits her too.” It’s one of her core values as well. That’s what I wanted people to realize out there. Even when you make a pivot, make a shift in your show, or in the industry of what you’re doing and you shift completely, you’re still able to take a good subset of your valuable audience that was there because they knew they were getting value from you. You’re going to come with them. You’re going to give it a shot. Maybe it will be great, maybe it’s not for them, that’s okay but they will at least try it because they already built up a rapport as you have with Jen.

For me, it’s so much about the personality of the people, the actual human being that’s on the other side of the microphone. If I like them, how they think, what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. She could start talking about ballroom dancing, dogs, real estate or architecture, I would probably be like, “What is she doing now? Let me check that out.” Even if it’s not necessarily a field I necessarily enjoy, but it’s because I know what product she puts out. I know that it’s going to be of high quality. I know that she’s going to know what she’s talking about and she’s hilarious. She’s got a great personality and is entertaining. With all of the things, I would absolutely listen to her as long as she’s not talking about watching paint driers.

I’m not ready for that.

I think that as that pivot, I would give it a shot and listen to her for sure.

It sounds like you have a great personality and have deep values and being curious and a continual learner. It was there before podcasting came about and you use the medium if you want to call it that, to help accelerate your learning process.

I love it so much. I tell people all the time and I hope this doesn’t discourage podcasters. I tell all of my people that I am talking to you about podcasts. There’s so much information like coaches and all sorts of people in different industries. When they have a podcast that’s engaging, they typically give away a lot of great information and all you have to do is listen. If you listen, write down notes, and implement one thing from a podcast you listen to, your life can be so much further along in the future.

Podcasting is so much about the personality of the actual human being that's on the other side of the microphone. Click To Tweet

I like to listen to little motivational ones that are super quick and easy in the morning. There are so many things that podcasters do and give away for free. I hate to say for free, but it’s so valuable to those of us who are listeners because it’s not fluff. You go to a lot of these webinars, you see these ads, “This guru is going to give you that,” but I find that a lot of times there’s not any substance there because it’s a gotcha. Whereas with podcasting, I don’t know why this is, I’m sure you could explain to me the whole reason why this is but I feel that there’s a lot more substance in there than fluff.

This is an untapped resource for people who are curious and who do want to learn and maybe don’t want to invest thousands and thousands of dollars into something. It’s a great place to get a jumpstart because that’s how I started building my platform and the structure of my company. My business was based on a lot of Jen’s podcasts. The coaching program has helped me go deeper and I’m not saying don’t pay for coaching. It definitely made things go deeper and it’s gotten me a lot further than I could have gotten on my own.

You knew that you were ready for it. You knew you were ready for what Jen had and, in a sense, warm yourself up, which makes our job as salespeople easier because everyone’s selling something. It makes it easier. You’re tapping into Jennifer. Talking about the thing that I find exciting about it is, it’s hard to sustain authenticity week after week on a podcast. You can structure and script a show or script a webinar to hype up everybody’s adrenaline, get them going, and flowing so they’ll buy at the end or when you’re doing it on stage.

To do that in every single episode, week after week, that’s not sustainable. It’s exhausting. It’s a full-time job. I don’t see it having the value at the end of the day so that’s why podcasting has gotten to be a little more authentic and has a more human touch because we don’t sit down, read a script, and go through those. There are great shows that do that and that’s why they drop a season at a time because it’s a lot of work.

I get that and that’s because everybody is talking about themselves that you want people to know, like and trust you, and what better way than for people to sit around and be authentic in this podcast medium. I didn’t call her and was like, “I don’t know.” I was like, “What do I need to do? Here’s my credit card. How do I buy things from you?”

There you go everybody, bingeability sells.

It wasn’t like, “What do you have?” “I don’t know. Can you give me a discount?” It was like, “I want the things you have and all the things you have. Here’s my credit card.” There are other people that I listen to. I like them and it’s like a buffet. I can take this piece from them and that piece from them, but I’m not calling them or reaching out to them. I’m not propelled and compelled to want to.

There’s a connection that’s a little deeper with Jen and that’s how that worked. That’s her bingeability factor. Jennifer, is there any advice you have out there for podcasters on how they can offer to connect better to their binge listeners and how they can encourage you guys to reach out to us?

I know Jen had a Facebook group. I got in there and got involved. I don’t know that this is something that you guys can do but I am a droid user. I would love to be able to support my podcast friends that I like to listen to, but there’s not a medium now for us to provide feedback and reviews. To all of you out there reading, please like the droids in us. I want to love on you guys too. I think that being authentic is the way to do that and having a forum whether a Facebook group or some way that they can make it easier for them to follow you and get in touch with you. We want to have the two-way conversation somewhat. You’re talking to us through the microphone and we can’t talk back but being able to have a way to reach out and have that conversation go a little bit deeper would be a cool thing.

Jennifer, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing the binge listener perspective. I appreciate your time.

TBF 47 | Binge Listener Perspective
Jen Du Plessis

I’ve enjoyed being here. Thank you for having me.

I hope that was as enlightening for you as it was for me. I keep saying these things again and again to my clients and on the show. I believe that they were true from the number of people but it’s so nice to hear that they’re still true when you talk to a binge listener. This is another thing that you want to do. Confirm what you’re thinking with your target audience and with the people. When you have a binge listener, especially someone who’s come and bought from you like Jennifer has done from Jen Du Plessis. When you look at that, that’s an amazing connection. That’s where bingeability is selling. You want more of those people. If they tell you, “We want this from you or we’d like to hear about this topic,” you do it.

This is where we can get a great perspective that’s not ours because we’re in the weeds of our show, programs, our coaching, and all the things that we sell out there that we forget sometimes that we’re not at the beginning. We’re not learning. We’re not there. We’re not consuming so much content sometimes that we can’t do it all or implement it all. When you are lucky enough to have a person like Jennifer Otto reach out to you, take advantage of that. Ask them questions, get to know them, serve them well with what you provide for them for sure but use them as a point of research for yourself to improve your show and an opportunity to get more people like her or him into your program.

I’m glad I could bring you this episode, and open all of our eyes to what’s going on that other side of things, the listener side of things which can be so silent, especially in the beginning of your show. Once this happens to you, I can tell you, it’s going to give you the drive to move on for quite some time. You can find out all about Jen Du Plessis’ show, Mortgage Lending Mastery, and her new show. As always, we have all kinds of resources and all things for you there as well at TheBingeFactor.com.

Thanks so much for reading. I’m going to keep bringing you interesting things that affect our binge factor so not great podcasters out there but interesting people and stories. I’ll try to get some more binge listeners in the future. Let’s keep up with them. Let’s talk to some more podfasters. I’m going to also try to get some podfaders on, some that had successful shows, but have quit them. That’s my goal for the future. If you have anyone to suggest, I would love for you to reach out to me at TheBingeFactor.com and let me know if you are or if someone who’s perfect for this show. Thank you so much for reading. I’ll be back with another episode.

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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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