Successful Podcast Leaders Patiently Build A Strong Foundation With Kevin Dawson Of The Leaders & Lagers Podcast (Podfaded)

TBF 60 | Leaders And Lagers


In today’s competitive landscape, building a successful podcast takes a lot of ingenuity, patience, and building the foundation to monetize it in many different ways. Kevin Dawson, a leadership and culture consultant and the host of the Leaders & Lagers podcast, joins Tracy Hazzard in today’s episode to discuss how he’s created a podcast that commands an audience and gets them to binge on his content so that they come back again and again. Kevin has set up his podcast in a way that leaves himself open to monetization opportunities. Want to create a successful podcast? Learn the secrets to creating a bingeable one and getting sponsorships to help subsidize your production costs by tuning in to this episode.

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Successful Podcast Leaders Patiently Build A Strong Foundation With Kevin Dawson Of The Leaders & Lagers Podcast

I’ve got Leaders & Lagers for our show. Doesn’t that sound like a fun concept? That’s exactly how I found our guest, Kevin Dawson. I got friended by him or I friended him. I’m not sure exactly how that happened, but we’ve connected up on LinkedIn. I noticed he was a podcaster and the topic. I thought, “Leaders & Lagers, that sounds like an interesting show.” I went to go check it out and sure enough, he was doing well. He had gotten over 40 episodes and the topic seemed such a great place to start. When I listened to the show for the first time, I knew why. It has a great concept to it. I want you to read this.

There’s an interesting strategy here that could work for your show, whether you already have an existing one and you run a shift. It could work if this is the strategy that you want to set up. What he’s done is to leave himself open to some great monetization opportunities. I’m going to talk about that on the post side of the interview but first let me introduce, Kevin Dawson. He’s a culture crafting expert who helps organizations build successful leaders, teams, and workplaces. He is a national keynote speaker, successful podcast host, and has developed carefully crafted culture change strategies for mid-sized and large corporations, nonprofit associations, and congressional campaigns. Kevin is regularly featured at events, providing expert perspective for building great teams. We need to build that so he’s a hot commodity now, and so is this podcast, Leaders & Lagers. Let’s talk to Kevin.

About Leaders & Lagers Podcast Host Kevin Dawson

TBF 60 | Leaders And LagersAs a consultant helping organizations develop best practices in human capital management, leadership development, organizational culture, Kevin has spent his professional career focusing on building successful and sustainable organizations for his clients.

With over a decade of experience in leadership and organizational culture development, creative and strategic problem solving, and strong analytical skills have made him a trusted advisor and leader in his industry. He is also a sought-after thought leader and asked to speak at events across the country, which led to the establishment of the Leaders & Lagers Podcast.

Kevin has a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Organizational Management and Associate of Applied Science in Aerospace Science and Professional Aviation from Midland College.

He has served across various volunteer boards including as Chairman of the West Texas HR Symposium, President of the Permian Basin Society for Human Resource Management, Board of Trustees for the Museum of the Southwest. ExecRank Human Resource Advisory Council Member, and Executive Director for Maybe in Midland-Odessa.

Website | LinkedIn

Kevin, thanks for joining me. Let’s talk about Leaders & Lagers. That’s a lot of fun. Are you having a drink now or not because it’s not your show?

I didn’t know if I should bring one, but there are cans behind me. What’s funny is as I’ve collected more and more cans because every episode is a brand-new beer, I’ve got a wet bar in another room that is full. I have no more shelf space. I’m thinking, “Where am I going to put more beer? Do I get rid of cans?” It’s been a lot of fun to drink beer and talk to people.

I love the concept of your show, which is why I reached out to you and said, “Let’s have you on the show.” I wanted to talk about how this concept works. There are few shows that can do this well and you’ve chosen an area that you can do it well. There are a lot of small brands that are eager to get featured, to hear and to get some publicity. You’ve created a system by which they’re glad to be on a startup podcast. It doesn’t matter if it’s your 1st episode or your 500th.  

The idea behind it was some of the best conversations are had when you’re sharing a drink with someone or a meal. For me, I took an idea from the company I was working at the time that was doing some happy hour events with our clients. We were calling it Benefits and Brews. I said, “These are all great conversations that we’re having. What if we could take conversations around leadership and organizational culture topics? Let’s share that over a different craft beer every week because many craft breweries have popped up all over the country and they’ve got their little niche styles.” For me, I want to learn to be a little more adventurous with different styles. The Leaders & Lagers were birthed out of those ideas. I tell people, “When you come on the show, I want it to feel as if it’s you and I sitting at a bar top having that, “Let’s save the world,” solve the world’s problem conversations.”

We’re feeling a little strong from the drinks.

“We’re bold. We’re courageous. Let’s go out and be superheroes,” instead of we’re sitting here drinking, but there’s an audience all around us. I’m listening to our conversation. Everybody that I’ve talked to you about the concept we’re like, “This is a fantastic concept. Why didn’t we think about this sooner?”

“Why didn’t we do that?” Let’s talk about how it works for you. How many episodes are you now?  

Episode 46 came out. We’re in the process of doing something special for episode 50, which we’re going to do a live recording at our local brewery here. I texted the brewery owners and I said, “Can we do this?” They said, “If we can’t open, you’re still more than welcome to come record and use our space,” but they got approval to reopen. We’re following all the social distancing guidelines, but we’re going to have a live audience. The Mayor of my hometown here in Midland, Texas is our guest.

I had texted his team. I said, “Would he be able to come on?” They said, “Yes.” We figured what’s going to work best with his schedule. We picked a date and said, “Let’s do this.” It was funny because he’s a longtime friend. When I was getting ready to launch the show, I said, “I’m going to do this.” He’s got a podcast that talks on leadership skills. He said, “Those are all of my favorite things wrapped up into one event. I said, “Let’s come in.” He’s like, “I’m in. Let’s do it.” We’re going to do a live recording and we’ll have our interview. After the interview is over, we’re going to open the floor up to the audience to ask the Mayor questions.

I’ve done a live at South by Southwest. All I can say is that you can have pros there and the sound will still get screwed up. We had tune-in by the sponsor. They were providing the sound. I was lucky that my team was also doing some filming so we had our backup microphones there as well. You can never have enough backup recording, just to let you know. There can never be enough in any live.

You over-prepare in the production world. I’ve got a good friend who is a musician. He’s got a recording studio in the back of his house. He did the Mayor’s podcast. His intro music was written by my friend Tyler. I asked Tyler and said, “Will you come to be my sound guy, do the mix, and make sure that we sound.” A typical setup for me is this microphone in an audio interface on my laptop and we’re good to go.

TBF 60 | Leaders And Lagers
Leaders And Lagers: A lot of leaders that get promoted into management positions aren’t investing well in leadership development.

Most of us are good to go there, but then we get into a live situation, the background sound and all these other things, then equipment still fails. Backup and good pros with you. Good job. You’ve got an entourage. You’ve made it.  

It’ll be good. I’m excited about it. To be at 50 episodes is a little unreal to be able to celebrate that.

In the beginning, did you have to reach out to the brews and explain to all the different lagers and the companies you were? Did you have to explain to the craft brewery what you were doing? Was it pretty easy to get a connection in and get it sent to?

It was easy to say, “I’m launching this podcast. The topics are going to be leadership and organizational culture, but I want it to have a little flare and a personal touch.” I like drinking like most people. I said, “We want to do a craft beer review to open up the show to talk about the uniqueness of the different breweries because organizational culture as it relates to AFT breweries is as unique as each individual company around the country. We are bringing that flair of, “Let’s talk about the beer and some of the things that come with it.” To open up the show and make people feel like, “This is something comfortable that we can all be a part of.” They bought-in real fast.

It didn’t cost too much.

The first episode is a brewery out of Dallas called the Manhattan Project Beer Company. What caught my attention was on the front of their can was a cutout of a nuclear bomb from World War II.

When you were describing that, I was like, “That’s the oddest choice for a package design I’ve ever heard. I want to go see it.”  

What was cool about their brewery is all of their beers are themed after the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb in World War II. They’ve got all these unique little beer names. I was like, “This is cool. You’re in Dallas, would you want to be a part of this?” They said, “Absolutely.” They had launched their first taproom in that year. They were super excited. Unfortunately, for me, I can only get their beers if I’m in Dallas. They haven’t expanded much further outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For me to get to Dallas, it’s either a 1-hour fly or a 5-hour drive.

Now you get to experience that. What I love also is that you’re setting up for their perfect audience. Your choice of craft breweries is set at a slightly different demographic level. You’re set at a demographic level of someone who probably has achieved a certain level of success in their life. They’re interested in exploring things. They’re interested in the leadership topic. There’s a nice match between the product selection than your niche that you’ve chosen and the audience that you hope to attract to the topics that you’re talking about.

A lot of the people who were in this niche of craft beer, they’re not the C-suite executives. They were middle managers who have aspirations to be business owners. A lot of leaders that get promoted into management positions, organizations aren’t investing well in leadership development.

What does that path look like?

TBF 60 | Leaders And Lagers
Leaders And Lagers: Prepare for that very first episode and figure out who you are going to be as a podcaster.


I’ve been speaking about leadership and culture topics for many years. That was what drove the conversation and saying, “Let’s continue this conversation on a global scale with people who want to be in those and learn lessons from people who have had those successes or are in C-suite roles and say, ‘These are the things that I learned as a leader or what I want to invest into our teams so we do have good leaders managing our people.’”

Let’s talk a little bit about the startup of the show. When you first started the show or when you were on your path to starting, what was the biggest lesson learned? What surprised you the most? What advice do you have to someone who’s starting out?

For me, it was preparation. Being prepared for, “What are we going to do? How’s this going to go try to figure out? Was it going to be best to fit my personality?” As a podcaster, I am learning what’s worked. Is it going to be a 15-minute, 30-minute show, or an hour? Do we go full-on Joe Rogan for hours? For me, in preparing for that first episode, I listened to a lot of different podcasts. I listened to how did they do their intro? How did they set up questions? I emailed and asked different podcasters, “When you bring somebody on the show, do you inform them of the conversations? Who are you looking to add? It was a lot of preparation on my part for that first episode. I am figuring out who I was going to be as a podcaster, not necessarily to replicate someone else but to take different bits of pieces from podcasts that I like to listen to and infuse those with my own personality and my own thoughts into the show. That was how it went. I would bounce ideas off of different people that knew me and could say, “We think this would work well or no, that doesn’t quite fit your personality,” so I wouldn’t maybe do that.

Did you get feedback along the way as you started?  

I did. Each episode releases at 8:30 AM on Friday. When the first episode was launched, I get a text from a good friend and he said, “Congrats on your first episode, but it was hard to hear the audio.”

You have a sound issue on your first episode. One of the things that I always do when I check out a show is I’ll listen to your most recent and to one that interests me because the topic or the guest is interesting and then I’ll go back to the first one. Most people start at the beginning, but I like to go back to the first one because then I get to see this nice difference between where you’ve come and where you were. You certainly improved from there.  

It was one that even I, as I listened to it, I had to crank the volume all the way up in my car to hear. I was like, “This is not the best. What do I need to do to improve?” That was learning what type of equipment could I get to help improve audio and build it from there. I got other feedback from people saying, “We liked these topics. We didn’t like this topic. Here’s why we didn’t like the topic.” It was an interesting point, but they wished I would have gone more in-depth. There’s a lot of good feedback from people that I trust in my personal board of directors that I have.

Let’s jump into our five things because I would love to get your opinion on them. What are some of the best ways you found, a book, great guests, the ones you don’t already know?

I’ve used my LinkedIn network. I targeted people that I wanted to talk to. Not only just talk to you, but hopefully influence. I started connecting with chief people officers, chief human resource officers, chief marketing officers, and chief diverse. All of those people who I was trying to start networking and then that started to grow and people would say, “Have you met so and so? They would be a great guest.” I had listeners who would text me and say, “Do you know so and so? Would you bring them on? As I started book guests, it bloomed from there. It took off for me with the quality of guests at the beginning of the summer back in June.

That’s because more of those leaders have more time so that helped in your favor.  

It did. It blew up quickly that I almost felt overwhelmed as it started growing. I’m like, “I did not expect this.” The quality of leaders or guests quickly started to grow. I was like, “What am I doing? I did not expect this.” I joke with guests that I’ve talked to and said, “My favorite episode to date was interviewing author Mark Sanborn because I was starstruck by him.” His book was one of the first books I read coming out of college on leadership. As I’m talking to him, everything that he had said, I was eating it up. I would just respond, “Absolutely.” I tell people that was my favorite episode because I said absolutely two dozen times. It was a good lesson of, “They wanted to be on your show and they see you as an equal. Don’t feel like you have to be starstruck by them. They’re normal human beings.

Target people that you want to talk to and hopefully influence. Click To Tweet

We like to say that you’re the authority because you control the audience. You control their access to the audience. You’re a bigger leader there so own that next time. Have you worried about the listener base? What was your plan for launching and growing that?  

When I launched, I was targeting the HR network that I had been a part of and trying to influence local HR professionals across West Texas, Texas in a little bit beyond. That kind of randomized circle, but as people started to listen and share, it started to grow and then may hit. At the time, the biggest person that I had was my friend, Matt, who had appeared on The Voice. When he shared his network, it started to grow. I started getting other guests coming on and it grew quickly that I didn’t know what to do. It was like, “I’m in how many countries? How many listeners? This is not real. I kept talking. I’ve got a whole bunch of, Fortune 500, C-suite executives, celebrities, athletes that follow the podcast and listen to that. It’s still all new and exciting.

You don’t have a concerted effort in how you share it. It happens that the guest sharing has worked for you.  

It has been. I’m making sure I had good graphics for marketing. When I got to episode 25, I redid some of my branding using the website Canva free. It’s a great thing.

Did you spend a lot of money? You spent some time getting it right.

I tweaked the logo and then using that model for the logo. It’s like, “These are my color schemes. This is what I want it to look and feel.” Everything that I’ve created has been replicating that. I created a website to host all of my episodes on as well as information about speaking opportunities that I go to. I’ve had social media pages and sharing.

We’re tapping into my next question, which is about producing in a professional way. What do you think are some of the keys there that have been helping to make it more professional for you?  

Consistency is big. Sharing a consistent message, look, and feel. It may change, but doing it for a season at a time, whether it’s a year or quarterly or whatever it may be. Having that consistency and saying, “This is what we’re going to do to build that brand.” For me, when I’m going to announce a guest, I’m going to preview the podcast to my audience of, “This is who’s coming up. These are some of the conversations that we’re going to be talking about.” People get excited about, “I need to make sure I’m saved or subscribe to hear that episode and following up after the episode.” Promoting episode released the following week, I take 1 or 2 quotes from the podcast and put that into a graphic for people to use and share whether it’s Instagrammable or Tweetable topics or quotes. I feel like we live in a world that thrives on 140 characters.

The visual of it too so you’ve got that Instagrammable side of it. When you do that, how do you encourage engagement with that? You’ve got these posts going out, you’ve got them professional-looking, you’ve got the messaging right, you’re teasing out new episodes and announcing the ones that are existing. How do you encourage the engagement and get questions going in?  

For engagement for the audience, we’ll take what we’re talking about and try to find ways to get people to think about and respond to how it’s going to be in their own lives. Part of the episodes, we always end with what we call the Last Call. It’s a challenge of, “Here’s what you can do to be a better leader.” We use that challenge to be an engagement factor and try to fit and find out from people, “What are you doing? How did you grow as a leader? What are the things that you want to know to be a better leader? People respond that way. Even with talking with the guests on the show, we’re pulling stories from them about some of these things that people are wanting to know how do I be a better leader? There are thousands of books on how to be a better leader, but there’s no one way to do it.

Everyone out there has probably gone, “Tracy, ask the question.” Are you monetizing the show? Are you making money from the breweries? Are you turning it into clients? How are you monetizing the show?  

TBF 60 | Leaders And Lagers
Leaders And Lagers: Instead of going big and wide, be much more focused.


We haven’t monetized the show directly. It’s been more indirect. Part of that has been on purpose to not monetize it yet. For me, I don’t have a year under my belt on the podcast yet, so I wanted to feel like I want to go through a year to see where it goes. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been preparing for monetization.

Your show is set up for it. That’s one of the things that you’re set up for multiple ways to decide which is the best path for you where they default into only one way. It wasn’t working from the beginning and now they have to shift to try to focus on that.

That’s where we are going to end up going. One of the things that I love is that LinkedIn is updating. It has been a huge benefit for having a podcast to a page because the people that I want to influence are mostly found on LinkedIn. Being able to invite people that I want to influence from all these different organizations to come follow my show has been huge. I’m keeping track of all the different companies and the CS and their titles who follow the show. I don’t have thousands and thousands of listeners. We’re averaging 2,000 to 3,000 a week.

That is good. For those of you out there starting out, this is a good place to be at 50 episodes. You’re about to hit that. This is a good growth path. You’re right on where you should be. You’re not blowing up the world, but most people don’t in their podcast.  

I had a friend who owns a couple of small businesses and he’s got a background in marketing. It was in episode five and he said, “What would you charge for a sponsorship?” I said, “I don’t even know what to charge.” I went and researched. I’m like, “This is what I’ve found,” but I told him, “If you want to send me some beer that you found in California, I’ll promote you for saying that you sent me the beer. As I have collected this list of all these Fortune 500 and well-known brands, I can turn to sponsors or vendors that I’ve worked within the past at different conferences that I’ve spoken to and say, “If you want to get your product, your message in front of this audience, here you go.” Instead of going big and wide, it’s much more focused on the clientele that I know people would want to get their messaging in front of.

I love that patient approach because that helps you understand your audience better and understand where the value is being derived from your show. It gives you the time to do that. Also, to make sure you love it.  

When I launched it, it was funny. I’ve got a good friend who has a blog and has been writing for years. I told him, “I don’t think I could do that. I don’t like to write, but I love to get up in front of people and talk.” He was like, “Why don’t you do a podcast?” That’s how the podcast got started. It was an idea. I say, “I don’t like to write,” but I’m in the process of writing a book based on all these different conversations and lessons. Hopefully, that will come out in the first quarter of 2021.

Are you blogging the podcast?

It’s strictly an audio-only podcast.

That might be next for you.  

It will. I remember talking with one of my first guests, Justin Lee, who is the host of The Professionals Playbook podcast. He’s an F-35 Air Force pilot and he does a monthly newsletter that highlights some of the things. I even talked to a friend, John Gordon, whose brother is a leadership expert. He said, “You should think about doing a transcript of your episodes or at least highlighting some points whether it’s the whole episode or it’s your own personal thoughts on the episode. Send that out on either a weekly or monthly basis, however often you feel like it’s going to be best for your audience.” There are a lot of things that are in the works.

TBF 60 | Leaders And Lagers
Leaders And Lagers: We’re living in the age of Zoom. You can speak at events all over the country without ever leaving your house.


There is a lot of play in there. We do find in our business, Podetize, that the blog posts and the keywords associated with leadership and other things like that. Even on the lagers’ side, the craft beer side, the creation of the influence side will show up on the website before it will show up in the audio numbers. Your website numbers will lead before the audio number. That’s why sometimes people add them later. They’re like, “Why didn’t I know about this from the beginning?” I do think that’s a good play for you to test out between now and your year to see if that’s the case and how that plays for you. That will give you a good indication of like, “What is this well-rounded sponsorship model or lead generation to client model that I want to go on? Which way do I want to go?” It’ll give you some indications by having a more well-rounded multimedia package in a sense.

For me, during this first year is like, “Let’s make sure we’re consistent.” Once we’re collecting ideas and seeing what best fits are in the market, the need of people that listen, what’s going to be best engaging, whether it’s a blog or a newsletter. It’s to share and read a two-minute Word file than to sit and listen sometimes to a full episode. That’s a good hook for someone like, “Let me forward this email to so and so about the topic.” It gets them to say, “I want to know more. Let me come listen to the episode,” or, “I would love to engage with the host a little bit more too. We want to develop our team better.”

Let’s talk about that. You mentioned adding speaking to your website and things like that as you built that out. Have you gotten some more authority within your niche within your area that you have found has come from being a podcast host?

It has grown. I spoke at about a dozen events over the course of 2019. In 2020, I’ve doubled that in the last 4 or 5 months. Back in February, I had a former senior vice president of the company I was working for telling me, “You don’t have the qualifications. You don’t have the authority. You’re not big enough.” Nowadays, I do wish I could reach out to him and say, “Do you remember when you said these things?”

Now, I’m cool enough.  

It has brought a lot more opportunities.

It sounds like it’s accelerated that authority for you.  

It’s opened up the doors to a lot larger conferences and events versus local events or even companies saying, “Would you come in and talk to our team for even 1 or 2 hours because we’ve got this issue? Would you provide some feedback on this is what our company culture is and we have some issues? How do we train our leaders to be better?” It’s opened a lot more doors in 2020. Part of why it’s been well is we’re living in the age of Zoom.

You already know you can command the technology.

I’ve spoken at events all over the country without ever leaving my house.

That’s right. I was already set up to be there because I would do it all the time. They get lucky that they can call on you to do that. That’s great that your authority is increased. This is going well for you. You’re looking at that year mark coming. You’re going to be looking at that and saying, “What do I do next?” Here’s the thing. What did surprise you? What did you gain from it that went, “I never expected this? This wasn’t in my plan.”  

Pull things out of people. Understand why people think and do. Click To Tweet

I didn’t expect this to be as big as I thought it would. For most people launching podcasts, they’re looking to maybe influence their local network. We’d love to be big and well-known. I remember hearing a statistic that there are 750,000 podcasts on Spotify now.

There are a million podcasts out there, but there are only 350,000 that are active.

There are lots of different ones out there. When I launched I was like, “I’m going to maybe influence 100 to 200 people.” To have that be 10X and greater and growing, it has surprised me. The other part of it was after launching those first few episodes and finding that rhythm of here’s how it’s going to go, it became much easier.

You found that you liked it.

It was great, which is funny for me being someone who wants to speak, being someone who has been doing the podcast, who’s writing a book. If you would have met me years ago, I was the shy guy that is sitting in the back row, not wanting to get up in front of people. I was learning to find my confidence and my voice and in both of those combined, people started to listen and that felt good. That’s why it has continued to grow.

I’m going to ask you because this is about the point where I’m going to hit on your bingeability. What do you think your bingeability is? Do you think you’re a bingeable show? If so, why?

I think people love the passion that I bring to people. Even guests that I brought onto said, “We love the show. We love the passion that you bring to wanting to grow leaders and to develop better cultures.” I get emails weekly from people all over the world saying, “We’d love to be on your show.” I can’t respond to all of them so I’ve left to be a little picky sometimes of, “I don’t think you’re going to fit the right market,“ and be able to say, “No.” It’s okay to say no to people.

You’re being discerning in your process.

There are people that I want to talk to and there are people that I don’t want to talk to because they may be great podcast guests, but they’re not great for me.

Also, for your audience. I do think that’s one of your bingeability factors, but the biggest one is that you ask the questions about the path. You can tell at the beginning when you do your announcements about the craft brewery and about the beer that you’re drinking, that you’ve got this geek enthusiasm. You’re exploring, excited and interested like, “They put this on the can.” That cascades into the way that you ask questions and explore the leadership topic. That helps me feel comfortable if I’m not at that top of my game level and I’m not there at the C-suite level. I can relate to you. I can see that you’re advocating for me to understand that path. That’s what I think is your true bingeability factor.  

I appreciate that. As I was talking to a good friend who was on a podcast of mine, Tony Bridwell. He has a podcast called Breakfast with Sis. It’s him and his daughter. He was the first podcast that I was a guest on. He surprised me because he said, “You’re going to be in Dallas. Once you come by Chick-fil-A, we’re going to be recording Saturday morning and you can come to watch.” I show up and they said, “You’re going to be our guest. I was surprised, but as we talked, I’m a huge advocate for uncovering individual strengths. You’ve got like Gallup StrengthsFinder or my personal favorite is the StandOut 2.0 by the Marcus Buckingham Company. My top strength from StandOut is as a teacher. I have a natural curiosity to want to pull things out of people. I want to see and understand why people think and do, and I get excited about learning.

TBF 60 | Leaders And Lagers
Leaders And Lagers: When you learn to find your confidence and your voice, people will start to listen.


That excitement comes through in your show and that’s why people binge in there and say, “I want to hear what happens next. I want to see who you talk to next.” That’s the key to creating that binge effect of why you’re going to go from episode to episode and listen to them all and stay subscribed. Kevin, you’ve done a great job at getting this podcast going. I love where it’s going. I love that it’s doing well because it’s rewarding that effort that you’ve put into it and that strategy and thought that you’ve put into it. Kudos to you. Leaders & Lagers, good luck with that. It’s such a great topic. I can’t wait to see where you take it next.  

I appreciate that, Tracy.

I told you that it was going to be interesting, the idea of the multiple levels of monetization and the way that he’s built a strategy for the show. What I love is that patience that he’s built in this idea that he’s not ready for this yet, but he’s thinking about that. He’s built-in some great building blocks and foundation for being able to monetize in many different ways, depending on what works for his business. Our business shifts over the course of a year especially in 2020. Where we thought we might want to do a lot of corporate training, maybe in the future, we don’t want to do that. Maybe we want to do more one-on-one consulting or we want to do events ourselves and courses and offer different things.

He’s left his options open as he’s been building this foundation. What he’s proven in his show is that he can command an audience. He can get them to binge on his content. He can get them to come back again. He can get them to suggest guests come on his show. He can get the guests to want to be on a show. Now, he can create a nicer network and association. Kevin Dawson has done everything right in terms of developing a podcast that’s bingeable. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of that conversation is what I told him his bingeable factor was. He is that discerning voice. That person who questions and inquires about what the path to great leadership is and he’s deep in that niche.

He understands it but he’s acting on behalf of the audience and creating a quality conversation in that process. Sometimes we can get this idea of having a craft brewery and all of this can begin gimmicky, but it’s innately dialed into the right type of person that he’s targeting. The person who’s interested in that, who’s at that right level, middle management still working in and around in the team and not necessarily on the leadership of the team. They’re not in that elite group yet, but they want to be, and they want to find the path there. He’s created this place to have that conversation that simulates what it would be like in the real world. It creates intimacy with the audience that he was looking for. It’s doing it in a way that’s not gimmicky.

He’s created a great marketplace for that monetization later because the craft breweries are the perfect type of sponsor in the future. They can send a few hundred dollars. They can send their brew and all of a sudden, you’ve got your production cost being paid to market your own self. Wouldn’t that be great? You subsidize your costs. You can even do it at that minimum level in the beginning. As it grows, you can expand that and get a larger sponsor or work it with distributors or other things. It can create that model of non-competitive because if you started to take sponsors and advertisers in that leadership world, then he’s competing against himself and his own services. We want to have an influence in that area, but having the ability to maybe subsidize and pay for the costs of the show and/or get sponsorship in a way that is synergistic with what we do. That’s what Kevin’s created here.

Don’t miss out, check out Leaders & Lagers. Hopefully, by the time this airs its 50th episode, you can go check that out and hear that fun, that new episode that he’s created that engaging and exciting 50th. It might give you an idea for what you do when you get hit 50, 100 or 20, whatever it is that you want to celebrate. All of that is located at As always, I would love to hear your suggestions for great guests. I would love to hear what types of shows and questions you have. Reach out to me and I will find you the right podcaster to get us some answers. Thanks.

Don’t miss Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Kevin Dawson too!

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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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