Podcasting Impactful Stories That Make A Difference And Spread Hope With Army Veteran Scott DeLuzio Of Drive On Podcast

TBF Scott DeLuzio | Podcasting Impactful Stories

 

Sharing impactful and hopeful stories is what podcasting is all about. Millions of people, especially veterans, suffer from depression or PTSD, and they just need to know that they are not alone. Transitioning back from the military can be very difficult, and few people can understand that feeling. Today’s guest fully understands veterans’ feelings, and he is on a mission to spread hope with his podcast.

Join Tracy Hazzard as she talks to the host of the Drive On PodcastScott DeLuzio, about his goal to help military veterans recover from mental health issues. Scott started his podcast after hearing that his friend took his own life because of mental health. Today, find out how he helps and cares for his audience when tackling difficult topics. Discover how he partners with other podcasts to build his listener base. Start listening to Scott’s impactful stories today!

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Podcasting Impactful Stories That Make A Difference And Spread Hope With Army Veteran Scott DeLuzio Of Drive On Podcast

Scott DeLuzio is our guest from Drive On Podcast. ‘Drive on’ is a military term. It’s not like driving in our car, nothing like that. ‘Drive on’ is the military term of doing this and keep moving forward. Scott is such an inspiration. The why around starting a show, the impact and ripples that it has, and the fact that he doesn’t completely focus on that is amazing.

Let’s dive a little bit more so we can understand Scott before we get started. Scott DeLuzio is an Army Veteran who served in the Connecticut Army National Guard as an Infantry Man. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 like many soldiers who were deployed in combat. That deployment changed Scott forever. His podcast, Drive On Podcast, talks about the challenges that soldiers face when coming back home, reacquainting with loved ones, finding a purpose outside of the military, and the struggles that come with it all.

You are going to get a lot out of Scott’s story and how his podcast came about and things like that. Those are all going to be a part of it, but there are some real lessons here in how we take care of our audience, make sure we bring them the right guests, and vet things overall. I’m so glad to have such a great example as Scott DeLuzio. Let’s talk Drive On Podcast.

About Drive On Podcast Host Scott DeLuzio

TBF Scott DeLuzio | Podcasting Impactful StoriesScott DeLuzio is an Army veteran who served in the Connecticut Army National Guard as an Infantryman and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. Like many soldiers who deploy to combat, that deployment changed Scott forever. His podcast, Drive On Podcast, talks about the challenges soldiers face when coming back home. Reacquainting with loved ones, finding a purpose outside of the military, and the struggles that come with it all.

Follow Scott Deluzio on Social: Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube

Scott, welcome to the show. I’m glad to talk with you about the Drive On Podcast. I love your logo or your cover art icon. It’s so simple and powerful in its imagery. It sends the right message. It tells me exactly what your show is about and a little bit about you at the same time. It gets me the sense of you are going to get right to the point, and I love that.

I love that you mentioned that. Thank you for that feedback. One of the things that I wanted to do is get across the name of the show and give you an idea of what the show is going to be about. It’s hard to do when you have one little square graphic that you have to use to get all of that information across, so I appreciate that.

You packed a little power in there.

It’s got to have a little punch. You can’t tiptoe around what the message or the show is going to be about because people will be scrolling by and they are going to look at it really quick, and you’ve got five seconds to try to figure out what this show is about before they scroll on.

Congratulations on reaching more than 200 episodes. It’s quite an accomplishment. You should be proud of yourself. You have defied the odds of many podcasters out there. You are in the elite 10%.

When I first started this podcast, I didn’t know how long it was going to go on for. Most of the podcasts have 8 to 12 episodes or so, and that’s it. When I started it, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing as far as podcasting and the technology go, and what microphone do I need. Do I need any special software, setup, or anything like that? I was pretty much winging it for the first few episodes and learning as I went on.

If you go back and listen to the first few episodes, I apologize, it’s probably not the cleanest and most polished thing out there, but as I went on, I started to get more and more comfortable behind the microphone and with the types of conversations that I was going to have with people. I started with people that I knew, people I served with, friends from high school, or other family members to get used to it.

As I got into it a little bit more, I found my groove. I then became a whole lot more comfortable talking to other people. Sometimes when I’m talking to them on the podcast for the very first time, by the end of the episode, we are talking as if we’ve known each other for years. I say that because it all comes with experience. These 200-plus episodes that I’ve done are all experiences. It’s what you get out over time. You get better and better each time. Each episode is going to continue hopefully to get better.

This is what I want to talk about. You started this podcast a couple of years ago and had a reason for starting it. I want you to tell everyone what that reason was, and then what more have you gotten out of it that you didn’t expect?

Background for people who don’t know me, I served in the military. I was deployed to Afghanistan and came back home and dealt with my own issues. I also noticed that a lot of the people that I served with were coming back and dealing with a bunch of different issues as well. As a matter of fact, the company that I served with overseas didn’t lose a single soldier while we were over there in Afghanistan. We started losing people to suicide back home when we all got back home.

I started thinking about the reality of that situation. We all survived spending time in a place where people literally wanted to kill us, and then we came home to a place where people wanted nothing but the best for us, and now we are starting to lose people. This didn’t connect with me. My brain didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. I said, “I’m not going to sit around waiting for another phone call saying that another friend has taken their life.”

At that time, I also started to realize how widespread of an issue this was amongst the entire Veteran and Military communities. This was something that I wasn’t okay with sitting around and letting happen. I said, “I need to do something. I want to reach as many people as possible. A podcast would be a good way to do that.” It’s free for the listeners.

They can download the episodes, listen to them, and get whatever help, feedback or advice that I can offer through this podcast. There’s no barrier to entry as far as them to get them to listen to the episodes. I figured it can help as many people as are willing to listen to it. The only struggle was what I talked about before. I didn’t know what I was doing as far as starting a podcast. It’s a big issue.

Your motives and mission for doing this are so powerful that it overcomes any tech challenges you might have at the beginning. Knowing that, I would be very forgiving as a listener from the beginning of your show. The reality is that whatever little tech challenges you had, and there weren’t many because I went back and listened to your first episode, it’s not bad at all. You are probably way more critical than it needs to be.

I’m sure that is absolutely true. We are usually our own worst critics whenever we do anything. We look at something, and it’s like, “That’s crap. I could do better.”

It’s a trial and error, and as you get better and you realize, “That was a better way to record. This is a better microphone to use. I moved my office, and now it works even better.” You discover those things, and you can hear it, but the power of your message and what you are talking about overrides any of those tech challenges. I’m so glad you got started and didn’t worry about making all those things perfect before you started because it would’ve taken longer to get your message out. It would’ve taken longer to have those conversations. If your goal was to reach one person, you were doing that faster.

There’s a saying, and I don’t know who said it, “You never want to perfect it. At least get started with something. You can always work towards perfection.” We are never going to be perfect. None of us are. Why bother waiting for perfection? We will be waiting forever for it and will still never get there. Keep working towards whatever it is that you want to get started on.

You never want to let perfect get in the way of better. Get started with something and work towards perfection. Click To Tweet

Get started. You will get better over time, no matter what you are starting on. It’s what I thought about when I started the podcast. I want to get stuff and some content out there. I started with one episode a week. That was a pretty good cadence for me. At the beginning of this year, I decided to switch to two episodes a week. I’m keeping up with that cadence as well.

I figured the more information that we could put out there to help out the Military, Veterans, and their families and people who care about them, the better off we will all be. In the types of episodes that I have, I’m talking to veterans who have had their own struggles, whether it’s PTSD, homelessness or substance abuse, you name it, anything under the sun that the veterans tend to deal with. We will talk about it.

We talked about what they did to overcome those issues. If you think about it, when you have a listener who is out there struggling with something, thinking that they are all alone, no one else has ever dealt with this thing, isolating themselves, or not talking to people, and think, “This is my problem. No one else knows what I’m going through,” and they hear someone else has had something very similar happen to them, experienced the same things, and figured out how to deal with it in a healthy and appropriate way.

All of a sudden, there’s some hope for that person who is sitting there all by themselves, thinking, “This is my problem. I can’t figure out how to deal with this.” Now, we have hope. We also talk to people who provide services to veterans, alternative forms of therapy, or even job placement services and stuff. There are all sorts of services available that aren’t necessarily through the VA, which a lot of veterans know about and will go to but it’s not right for everybody or the perfect fit.

There’s no easy access even then, unfortunately.

A lot of red tape that you’ve got to go through to get through the VA sometimes. That process could be better but when we start talking about these non-profits that don’t have any of this bureaucracy, it’s like, “We are here to help you. Let’s get you the help that you need,” whatever the category is. Now, these veterans are like, “I didn’t even know about this service that’s available.” Now, there’s more hope. There’s something that they didn’t know about, and here we are looking at a more hopeful situation. At the end of the day, it’s all about giving hope to those people who might feel like all hope is lost.

I’m going to do your binge factor now. For everyone out there, this is your first episode of The Binge Factor. This is what I do. I hope to psychoanalyze what Scott’s binge factor is on the Drive On Podcast. In this particular case, Scott, you touched on it right there. When you are bringing hope to a community and provide actionable, helpful things in every single episode, I’m going to trust you with my ear.

I’m going to go back and listen to all the episodes I didn’t listen to and find out what I was missing. That’s why your show is truly bingeable but more than that. I suspect that if you analyze your numbers, you discover that not only were they listening to the episodes all the way through, that you probably have more than 100% listen-through rate because if I heard something on there that I thought might be useful, I’m going to share it with someone. I might even play it for them.

You might find you have a 105% or 110% listen-through rate, where I played a segment for somebody who then becomes a listener and listens to all your shows. You’ve created a viral binge-listening situation here of someone so excited to share that show with someone else who might need the help as well. That’s the beautiful thing about the show that you created but I also want to commend you because podcasting is the perfect place for you to reach an audience.

Too often, we are ready to go to video, TikTok, or do these things, but you hit it on the head when you were talking about your listeners. They feel isolated and alone. They are less likely to be scrolling through social media in a positive way. They are more likely to be ruminating about this but they might reach out and check out a podcast because that’s a solo activity. You hit on a perfect place to reach your audience as well.

When you think about the types of people who would traditionally listen to this type of podcast, the Military Veterans, the people who are struggling and isolating themselves typically are not the types of people who want to go reach out and get help, want to go to counseling or whatever. For various reasons, it’s part of the military culture, “Suck it up. Be a man. Deal with it,” and all that thing that you tend to get drilled into you from early on.

Podcasting is the best way to reach veterans with problems because they are not the type of people who reach out and get help. Click To Tweet

It makes it hard to ask for help.

A lot of times, people aren’t going to want to let other people know, “I have this problem,” but a podcast, you can listen to it. You got your earbuds, put your earbuds in, and no one else knows what you are listening to. You could be rocking out to some music or getting help. That’s why a podcast is perfect. My stuff is also on YouTube for people who want to consume it that way, but very few do consume it on YouTube. Most of my listeners are actual listeners as opposed to viewers.

With a video, someone could see what it is that you are watching, and that may not be quite as comfortable. When you are listening to it, and it’s just you listening, no one else has even to know what you are listening to. That’s a great way to do it. It could even be on your commute to work. You are listening to it in the car or at the gym. Now, you have this information that gives you hope, and you are not risking the idea that you might be embarrassed that you have a problem, that you need to get help but you don’t know where to turn to, necessarily.

It’s very exposing. That’s the opposite of what you are trained to do is to keep your exposure down. It makes sense to me that this is the perfect media type for reaching your audience, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that your video numbers aren’t as high as your podcast numbers in any way, shape or form. I’m so glad that that’s the case. Have you been reached out to? You won’t be able to tell by the numbers of your show and downloads. You have no idea how many military families you are reaching versus actual veterans who come home or whatever. You may not have any sense of that except for they might have been reaching out to you.

That is a hard number to drill down to the limited analytics that is available for podcasting. I wish there were something that could drill down way deeper into the numbers to figure out who these people are who are listening, where they are coming from, and what their demographics are and all that stuff. That would really help in the marketing side of things with the podcast.

I have had some people reach out. Some of them are veterans, and those are the people who I primarily want to reach because I want to go straight to the source of the problem. If you are having a problem, let’s nip that in the bud and get this resolved. As I said before, sometimes the veterans are stubborn, and they don’t want even to admit that they have a problem, want to get help, or need to get help.

Someone like a spouse, family member or loved one might recognize there’s something going on with this person, and there’s something wrong. They may feel lost themselves. They may not know what resources are even available to this person or there could be some things that they are doing at home that maybe are triggering the issue that they are dealing with.

Maybe they could be helping out in other ways or even providing a gentle nudge like you were saying before, “I listened to this episode. It sounds pretty close to what you are dealing with. Why don’t you give it a listen? Let me play it for you so that way we can listen to it together and understand what I’m talking about, and maybe this can help you out a little bit.”

Even if it’s, “I heard about this resource. Do you want me to play that little segment?” That might be something. This is such a smart model for you in the way that you are going through it. At the end of the day, you may not realize it but I believe that there are probably lots of families out there seeking advice and help. To hear it from another veteran is also important because it’s all great for us to sit back and say, “We want to change this,” when we don’t know what you are going through. That is also helpful. I loved your model and what you are doing.

The way you approach your episodes has a nice patience about it but there’s still this energy of hope that you have in your voice. I don’t know if you realize it but you do. You said this early on when you were introducing, that you worked on yourself and that you already did some of that work, so you are through a portion of it. I bet that as we are talking and as you have been talking to people on your show, you’ve worked through even more.

Especially, in mental health, there’s some correlation there between your physical and mental health where if you have an issue with your physical health, you break a bone, have cancer or something like that, you go to the doctor and get those things addressed. You don’t sit around like, “My arm is not working because I broke my arm,” and deal with it. No, you go and do something about that.

With your mental health, it’s the same thing. You should go and get checked out when you notice that there’s something wrong. The difference, though, between your physical and mental health is that once when you go and get that broken arm fixed and healed, it’s pretty much the end of it. You don’t need to continue going to follow-ups for years and years to have that broken arm checked out, but with your mental health, you might need some checkups and keep on top of things because our minds are unexplainable. There’s a lot going on up there.

TBF Scott DeLuzio | Podcasting Impactful Stories
Podcasting Impactful Stories: The difference between physical and mental health is once you get healed physically, that’s the end of it. With mental health, you need constant checkups because your mind is unexplainable.

 

Things change as situations change. You might lose a job, got out of a long-term relationship, suffer a loss in the family or loved one, or something like that. All of those things play into your mental health. You might have the opposite happen. You might have something great happen, and that also plays into your mental health. It affects it in a positive way, but a lot of these things all contribute to the overall mental health picture.

When you are not keeping up with that like you were saying to me, the podcast itself has honestly been a form of therapy for me because I have been able to talk to people, share stories, and talk about different experiences. It has been therapeutic for me but for full transparency, I have also been seeking my own mental health treatments and things like that because there are still things that have been unresolved and stuff that I need to work on over time.

In a way, your whole show is about normalizing the ability to ask for help or seek it. You’ve obviously done that for yourself through the process too. This is beautiful what you built here. I am so impressed by everything. There are a lot of podcasters who come through me, and there are some impressive things but all in all, everything that you’ve built is conducive to meeting your ultimate outcome or goal, and that’s powerful. Everything is working together, and it’s in the right place at the right time, and that’s also something.

I want to touch on the three things that we talk about with every person here. There’s one aspect of this that I want to dial in. Normally, I ask people how they get great guests. In your particular case, the angle that I want to talk about is how you decide if the guests that you are going to come on or the organization that you might feature is worthy of being on is going to be around tomorrow. We don’t have a ton of time to vet through everything. How do you go about checking that and making sure, that your association with them is going to be a good one long-term?

First off, I will touch on the representatives of organizations that I talk to on the podcast. I typically will look into these organizations and see if they are just starting up, “Do they start up yesterday? Do they have no background, no history, no testimonials or anything like that going on about them?” I’m going to be less likely to want to talk to them unless it’s something out of this world amazing.

I’m going to be less likely to want to talk to them because there is a bit of a lead time between the time that I record and the time that the episode comes out. I don’t know if they are even going to exist in a couple of months when the episode finally is released. I don’t want to waste my time or their time doing that. I’ve had people or representatives from the American Legion and the VFW. They have been around for quite a while. They are probably going to still be around six months from now, a year from now or even longer. They will probably be around longer than this podcast will be around, so I have no problem having those types of people on.

Usually, if someone is recommending an organization or another guest to me, I will look at my relationship with that person. “Do I trust them? Have they recommended other guests before? How did that work out? This person seems like they know what they are talking about. They have some good background there,” then I will probably accept whoever it is and go with that from there without doing too much research. As you said, time is limited. We can’t be spending all day researching this stuff.

Even with the individual veterans who I talk to, when I try to vet their stories and try to find out, I ask them, “Tell me about yourself. Tell me what it is that you want to talk about. What’s going to make this a win for you in sharing your story?” With a lot of them, I tell them, “Your story is important. I want to get that story across to help other people.” You can tell when there’s someone who wants to sell their whatever and doesn’t have any intention of contributing anything of value to the audience. They are there as, “This is a sales or marketing tool. I wanted to get my name out there.”

I had one person who was a Navy SEAL and was also running for some political office. I don’t even remember what it was or what state it even was from. They reached out, and I asked, “What is it that you want to talk about? Can you share some information about yourself?” All of it was links to their political website. I was like, “Sorry, this is not going to work.”

“That doesn’t sound what I want to be associated with.”

I dropped them.

It’s pushy and not helpful enough. As long as you are honest with your audience that you aren’t like seriously vetting these things, so it’s a complete endorsement and recommendation, unless you said, “I’ve personally used these services,” then it’s fine. It’s information and you present it that way.

The thing is, everyone has their own unique stories and background. I don’t know all of these people intimately. It’s not like I served with all of them or anything like that but they all have these different experiences, and who am I to say, “No, you can’t share that story or whatever.”

It’s because you don’t know if it’s going to resonate. You don’t know where your audience is at any given moment. You don’t have a direct connection to them, so you don’t know where they are, and that might be the one thing that tips them over. If it makes a difference and you brought hope and change, then you did what you were supposed to do. You are supposed to be the conduit for that. Sometimes you take it too seriously on the podcasting side, and our audience does understand that we are information gatherers in a sense. I suspect you want to do the best job. You have integrity and care about that, so you are doing a bit of vetting.

I am doing the vetting. I want to make sure that it’s legit information that people are sharing. I don’t want someone to come on and say, “I did X, Y, and Z, and this is what helped me,” and it’s complete bogus nonsense. I don’t want that. Someone might come on and say, “I did this thing. It’s a little unorthodox but it worked for me.” “Cool. Let’s talk about that and dive in. Why did it work for you? What have you tried before? Let’s go down that rabbit hole and try to figure out what all of this means.” As you said, that might resonate with somebody who’s listening to it may not resonate with some other people but it may help that one person who’s listening. Honestly, that, to me, is what it’s all about. It’s getting different points of view out there and helping out as many people as I can.

TBF Scott DeLuzio | Podcasting Impactful Stories
Podcasting Impactful Stories: Your content might resonate with somebody, or it might not. The important thing is that you can help at least one person who is listening.

 

You said the VFW, and it brought back my Connecticut roots. You are from Connecticut. Where in Connecticut are you from?

I’m originally from a town called Glastonbury, which is in Central Connecticut, outside of Hartford.

I’m a Danbury girl.

I’ve lived in a few different towns in the Central Connecticut area. Danbury is a little further out West towards New York but it’s a small enough state.

I know where Glastonbury is. It reminded me of when you said VFW. My grandfathers were big VFW guys. They were always down there with their buddies. They used it as a network. They used it to advise each other and get help. This is how those communities used to make a difference in making sure when they came back from war. They were trying to acclimate into the business communities and find a way they could do that. That’s so distributed now.

You are creating a hub again for that but it also got me thinking based on the second question that I ask everybody, which is how do you increase listeners? Have there been organizations like VFWs and other things that have helped you expand your listener base by talking about your show, sharing your show or doing any of these? Have you been able to tap into that as a listener growth strategy?

That is something that I need to do a better job at is tapping into some of these organizations. I did have people from the VFW or the national organization that I’ve talked to, and that helped. The same thing with the American Legion. I’ve talked to people from around that organization, which helped because they distributed it on their social media. That helped get a nice boost in the listeners for those guests on those episodes. I need to do a better job of that in-person networking and to get to know these people, letting them know about the podcast, and sharing the resource.

The biggest thing for me as far as the growth has been talking to other podcasters on my podcast and doing a swap type thing where I would be a guest on theirs, and they would be a guest on mine. We have similar enough podcasts that their audience would likely be interested in my show, and my audience would likely be interested in their show. We swap audiences essentially by coming on each other’s shows. That helps to grow the listeners when they promote it to their audience. I naturally get a bump up in the listeners for those episodes. It has been growing steadily over the years. The longer I have the podcast. It continues to keep bumping up.

If you want to grow your podcast, be a guest on other podcasts similar to yours. Click To Tweet

I’m very sure there are some organizations out there. It comes to mind that I interviewed a podcaster early on in The Binge Factor. It wasn’t even called The Binge Factor at the time when I interviewed him, and he had The Not Old – Better Show. I don’t think he has it anymore but The Not Old – Better Show got picked up by AARP Magazine, the traditional print magazine. It was on a list of podcasts you might want to listen to. He went to 50,000 downloads an episode or some crazy number at the end.

I’m very sure that might be a great strategy for you going forward but you are right. Podcast swapping is a great way because if they are already veterans listening to that show or a likeness in your audience, their podcast listeners, you don’t have to work to figure out how of that have that circulation of that magazine would even try a podcast. You don’t have to think that through. It’s already liked.

There’s a group of us, probably about a dozen or so of us, who all have veteran-focused podcasts or YouTube channels, and other things that we do. We collaborated and had each other as guests on our podcasts. We’ve also bounced ideas off each other like, “There’s this opportunity. I don’t know if this makes sense. Let’s talk about it.” It’s not quite a mastermind group but something similar to that where we share our expertise and experiences with each other to help each other grow.

The way I look at it, none of these people are competitors to me, even though we may have the exact same target audience and the same type of podcast message because, at the end of the day, all I care about is getting the message out to help people if that is through my podcast, awesome. If it’s through somebody else’s, cool. I’m good with that too.

I love that you are collaborating. This is the way in which you share what’s working because you have similar audiences. When you share what’s working for you, that’s when you are going to find more listeners altogether. One podcast is not enough for most podcast listeners. They are anxious to hear more. It’s not going to lose you anything in the process. You are only all going to gain. I do love that you are working on that.

I want to talk about monetization because that’s the third and last question that I ask everybody. I’m very sure that your purpose for this wasn’t to make money and do all of that by conversing with you but you do have to keep going. Have you found any ways in which you can offset the cost can make this production easier for yourself or ways that you can keep going? Have you found some monetization strategies that are working for you or are you thinking about trying them?

When I first started, I had zero interest in monetizing. That was not my goal. It was getting the podcast out there helping people, and that, to me, was enough. I was fine with bankrolling, the hosting, all the equipment, and everything like that. I was fine with that but over the years, I started realizing that this is getting expensive and it’s not getting any cheaper as time goes on.

A few years ago, I released my book called Surviving Son. That book was talking about my experiences in the military and how my deployment to Afghanistan affected me and my family’s lives. During that deployment, my younger brother was also deployed to Afghanistan. We were both there at the same time. He was tragically killed in action. That certainly had a huge impact on our lives. I wanted to talk about it and share my experiences because not only is this book my story but it’s also my brother’s story. I wanted to keep that story going and keep it out there.

TBF Scott DeLuzio | Podcasting Impactful Stories
Surviving Son: An Afghanistan War Veteran Reveals His Nightmare of Becoming A Gold Star Brother

A nice benefit to having a book is that people buy it, and so I make some money off of the sales of the book. All of that money so far that I’ve made been reinvested back into the podcast and going towards advertising, hosting, and covering the costs of that type of stuff but I have not taken a paycheck from the sale of the book, personally. I’ve invested all of that money right back into all of this.

Commendable, and thank you for your sacrifice and your service. I am so thrilled that the book is out there because there are people who need that message. It gives them the ability to get something more than the podcast. Now, I’m getting to know you over the podcast. I can find some more about your story, and maybe in that alignment of reading your story, I now find help for myself because that inspired me. We have a similar background or something like that. That’s great that you’ve put that in.

There are some things for you in terms of monetization opportunities and ways to make it so that you are not making money off the audience. That’s maybe the distasteful part for someone who’s got an impact mission-driven podcast is, “I don’t want to make money off my audience but I do need to make sure that I can keep being there for your audience.”

The audience understands that. We accept that as a listener of a show that, we don’t want to go away tomorrow because we know how much value they are bringing to me, my family, and the changes you are making in the world. It’s not unethical in any way, shape or form for you to make money. You need to keep going but at the same time, I understand that there are more tasteful ways to do that or more ways that feel in alignment with you. That’s something worth exploring, especially since you have given 200-plus episodes to your audience. I guarantee it impacted thousands of people. You don’t even know it.

You earned the right to be able to do that. Now, let’s find a way to make that work. That’s strategic to something that needs to be thought through and maybe finding other models out there of what I call alternative monetization that might work. The book is a good way but maybe there are others out there. I’m thinking about some ideas, and maybe we could talk about them. If we find one that works for you, we will come back and have you come back and talk about it. How about that?

Yes. The book has been great as far as monetization goes but over time, it’s going to start to run out. It’s going to run its course. You can only sell so many copies of a book. There will probably need to be some other strategies. I would love to hear some of your thoughts and to come back and share some successes with you.

That would be wonderful. 200 episodes is a milestone. The problem I find with all podcasters is that they pass the number and they go, “I didn’t celebrate at all.” Did you celebrate?

No, I did not. I celebrated with the 100th episode. I did have a bit of a celebration with that. For 200, I took it as, “It’s another number.”

This happens all the time. I had a podcaster and a good friend of mine who hit 500, and I was like, “What are you doing? Let’s celebrate. You have to at least go out to dinner and do something.” You have to do a little dance because it is a big accomplishment. What I want you to hear from me, as having reviewed tons of shows in the podcasting market, is that when I said you are in the elite 10%, the elite 10% who made it over 100, I don’t even know the dialing into the number that made it over 200 but there are less of those. You have done a major contribution and should celebrate that. Congratulations on that.

Thank you for that. I appreciate that and the recognition of that accomplishment. It’s a lot of work to do even one episode but when you multiply that out 200-plus times now, it’s a lot that goes into it.

That’s exactly the point of why we were talking about alternative monetization. You are putting a lot of time, money, and effort into things. It’s not your day job. That makes a big difference as well. We will see what we can do to get you moving on that. Is there anything that you would like to say to others out there who are thinking that they have a mission-driven impact podcast in them and something is holding them back? Do you have any advice for them?

I would say get started and do it. Start putting stuff out there. When you start sharing the episodes that you are putting out there and share it with anyone who you think would benefit from it. Share it on your social media, your contacts on your email or whoever you think will listen to it, and start paying attention to the feedback that you get from those people.

If you want to start a podcast, just do it. Put it out there and share it with people who you think would benefit from it. Click To Tweet

A lot of times, if you are sharing it with your mom, it’s going to be the best thing in the world because your mom is going to think that you did, you can do no wrong, and everything is great. Maybe take that one with a little bit of a grain of salt but start listening to some of the feedback that you get from people and seeing, “Maybe I hit the nail on the head with this episode but this other episode, maybe I missed the mark. Maybe I should focus more on the ones that I’m getting this positive feedback from and do more stuff like that because that’s clearly what people are looking for.”

When you start doing that and start listening to some of the feedback, people aren’t necessarily going to give you feedback. You might have to solicit that feedback and ask people, “What did you think of this episode? Is this a win? Did this miss the mark? What do you think?” When you start asking those questions, you will start to get some information from people, and then you will have a better idea of where to focus your attention on the types of episodes. At the end of the day, you are not going to know any of this stuff if you don’t get started. The biggest piece of advice that I would give to people is to start.

That’s great advice. I’m so glad you said about pushing it out there because very often when we do something that might be a social impact, be mission-driven or that kind of model of podcasting, we think our friends, family or our social media audience don’t need to hear that or our business associates don’t but that’s underestimating them. They may not be the right person to be listening to your show but they may know someone that should. We are not giving them the opportunity if we aren’t telling them about it. We are not being pushy.

I have business associates who are not veterans but they have family members who are. I’m sure they might be willing to share that episode that resonates with, “My brother-in-law, my sister, or whoever happens to be going through a very similar thing. Let me share that with them. Maybe that’s going to help them out too.” Share it with whoever and see where that takes you. You will start to get some traction. Some people are not going to share it at all because that’s their nature. They are not going to. Fine, don’t bug them with it because that’s wasting your time and their time but you will start to get some of those people who are super fans, as Pat Flynn calls them.

It’s not just that. I give a speech or something at an event that maybe has nothing to do with podcasting but they go in, and this whole audience may not even be interested in listening. I’ve spoken at real estate events, and they may not even be interested in podcasting, and all of a sudden, I find they are sharing my show. They are sharing my show because they want to thank me for the service that I gave them by giving them a speech or advice. You have an audience who would like to thank you for your service, and the best way to thank you is to share your show. That’s an easy ask. It’s surprisingly easy.

It’s a win-win for everyone. They feel like they have been able to help you out because you’ve offered them something of value, and it does help you out by sharing your show.

Scott, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and for the Drive On Podcast. Keep on podcasting. I can’t wait for you to make another 100.

Thank you so much. I don’t see any signs of me slowing down in the future. I’m sure I will make it to 300, and I bet you 500 won’t be too far off either.

I’m so glad to hear that.

I mentioned at the beginning that there were going to see be some big lessons here from Scott that we were going to hear about ways to vet guests and be careful with what we do because we have to take care of our audience. It is so critically important. He can’t take the risk that he’s exposing his audience to more pain than they already have been stressed. None of that can happen.

He has to take care of the guests he has, the companies that he aligns with, and the organizations that he doesn’t but he can only do so much in his role. He’s not being paid for this. There also has to be some grace given to us podcasters, especially those like Scott, who is trying to fill this gap or area where information is missing and understand that there’s information out there, and that’s what we are bringing, not an endorsement.

Being careful, outward, authentic, and transparent in the way that you present that and who you are presenting is critically important. Too often, there are lots of podcasters out there. Scott is not one of them at all who are abusing the influencer system and this model of it by not disclosing that they are being paid to a podcast about this guest.

When you are, make sure to talk about it, and when you are not, talk about that too so that they understand that you are presenting information for them to consider and not expressing an explicit endorsement of something. I wanted to share that with you as one of the great takeaways and lessons that I took, but it’s such a great show. Drive On Podcast with Scott DeLuzio. Check it out at TheBingeFactor.com, and come back next time for another binge factor and get another successful podcaster to learn from.

 

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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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