The following is the full transcript of Remarkable Episode 14: Janet Kennedy on Getting Social to Find Your Audience
In this episode of Remarkable, I have a conversation with a radio host turned marketer, who came full circle two years ago when she landed behind a microphone to launch a podcast on social media and healthcare.
She’s had an extensive career in marketing, and in this episode, we talk in detail about social media and digital marketing, and she shares some great tips on how to utilize Twitter to promote and grow your podcast.
She shares practical tips for increasing engagement and maximizing exposure on twitter, including how to build relationships with guests after they’ve been on your show, what a tweet chat is and how to use it, and how to quickly find and curate great content to share with your audience.
We also discuss the importance of connecting with influencers, the prep work you should do before ever launching a podcast, and how and why blab may be a great opportunity to build your network and audience.
My guest and I both hail from the Triangle region of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, and she serves with fellow podcaster Charles Gupton, and me as organizers of the North Carolina Podcasting Meetup.
She’s the founder of the Get Social Health Academy and host of the Get Social Health podcast where she just recently published episode number 100, here’s Janet Kennedy.
Dave: Janet, welcome to the Remarkable podcast.
Janet: I feel an obligation to be remarkable, David, but I’m really excited to be here.
Dave: You’re already remarkable, which is why I’m having you on the show.
Janet: I think it has more to do with people making remarks about me, but that’s okay. That still fits your criteria.
Dave: I appreciate you taking time to join me. Let me start by getting your experience with podcasting. How long have you been podcasting?
Janet: I have officially been podcasting for about 2 years in another week or so.
Dave: Wow, congratulations!
Dave: We’ve got a little bit of connections outside of the interview. You’ve recently passed 100 episodes, is that right?
Janet: I was so excited about passing 100 episodes (I think tomorrow will be 103) that I gave myself a migraine and had to go to bed for two days.
Dave: Oh no! You didn’t even get to enjoy the relief of hitting that number, right?
Janet: Seriously, I was all psyched up about it and thinking then tomorrow and Friday, everybody’s going to be saying, ‘Congratulations!’ And I’m going to get all this social media love, and I could barely hold my head up straight.
Oh well! Don’t set yourself up too high folks. 100 will be nothing when you get to 500, so don’t worry about it.
Dave: Let me back up a little bit. I know that you are a marketing professional. How did you get into marketing in the first place? How did you end up in that career path?
Janet: This is the perfect full circle, and everyone’s going to go, ‘Now I get it!’ I actually started my career in radio.
Dave: Oh, okay.
Janet: My first professional job after school was part-time sales and then part-time on air. I produced commercials for a little radio station in my hometown.
We were so small and so awful that in Arbitron ratings, they had a little asterisk as in, numbers too small to count. We literally had no money. Nobody would send us records. All we had were the worst of the worst releases that never made the top 1,000.
We were just a pathetic little radio station. Our reel to reel tape deck was actually in a leather suitcase and you had to hold the reels on with bull clips.
We were awful, but I had a blast! It was very much a learning process. I’ve been around the mic for a long time, and then graduated up to (as we all do) – I think I worked for about six radio stations moving my way up the ladder.
I ended up being everything. I’ve done copywriting, I’ve done on air, I’ve done radio shows, I’ve done ski reporting, swap shop, and all kinds of on air radio stuff.
Then an opportunity came up to interview for a job as the marketing director for this shopping mall in the town I was living in,at that time Spartanburg, South Carolina. The idea of having a regular job – a real job – was really exciting to me.
So I was the promotions director for the radio station, and then moved over to shopping center marketing, and then after that I was in marketing for a luxury playset company, for Comcast, and even did a little work with a healthcare organization. Marketing has really been what I’ve been involved in my whole career.
Dave: You mentioned something about healthcare. How did you go from general marketing and working in it to specifically working in the healthcare field? The title of your podcast is “Get Social Health.” How did you land there?
Janet: It’s a combination of things all coming together at the same time. One is that, in the market where I live (which is Raleigh, North Carolina), I was very fortunate to be a member of the American Marketing Association and to be president of the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association.
Social media became a big part of what I was learning. As I was learning that and hanging around a lot of very, very cool people, I also started working for a company that did consumer analytics and had an opportunity to get involved in healthcare.
Up until that time, I was using social media, literally socially: just to engage with other marketing professionals. I built a really nice network of folks and talked about a lot of things that people wanted to read about. But I wasn’t necessarily focusing in any particular vertical – my expertise.
Then, my day job company wanted to spend a lot more time focusing on using analytics in healthcare, I wanted to join online conversations. My personal handle of jkennedy93 really wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
If a healthcare company were to look at that, they’d go, ‘Why are you talking about marketing in the triangle, or the roller derby, or the art museum or something?’
Janet: I needed to create a handle that would get some traction. Thus came “Get Social Health” and I was also able to pick up the domain and I started tweeting.
As it turns out, because I have a lot of expertise in marketing and social media, I got traction very quickly and was able to engage at a very high level in a very short period of time.
The overlapping coincidences of – I was listening to a lot of marketing podcasts and it just so happened in the fall of 2013, every podcast I listened to did a podcast about how cool podcasting is and this was the future.
Everybody needed to think about podcasting. For me, it seemed very natural with my radio background, this would be a way for me to be able to express myself that wouldn’t involve writing a blog post. I was really excited about not having to be a blogger. We’ll get to that irony in a minute.
I went through the process of learning to become a podcaster. The other side of the coin was while I was very experienced in marketing and social media, I didn’t necessarily have deep knowledge in healthcare, so I wanted to ask questions.
The best way to do that is to have a podcast and you can call up everybody you ever wanted to learn from and ask them: Why do you do that? How does that work?
So, 100 episodes later, I feel like I have enough knowledge that I can share with other folks directly. That’s the two-sides of using podcasting to move my career forward as well as my knowledge base.
Dave: That’s a great set of coincidences or you just happened to be in the right place at the right time. That’s really cool.
Janet: Well, it was a plan. One of the things that I heard over and over again in early podcasting communities is niche down. Not everybody can have the podcast about being an entrepreneur.
There’s a lot out there and while podcasting wins the war against blogs as far as there are 1.2 million blogs, and there’s about 250,000 podcasts (which does blow my mind in many ways), you still have an advantage in that the numbers are there.
It’s a little easier to get some traction with a podcast, it still is really hard to find that niche that people will spend the time with. That’s why it made sense for me to niche down. I don’t need 10,000 downloads an episode to make an impact when I’m talking about social media and healthcare.
Dave: How do you measure success? Did you have something in mind before you even started? Whether your niche was small enough or big enough? How did you decide whether you were going to continue or not?
Janet: Probably a couple of different things. From a personal standpoint, the amount of time it takes to do the podcast has never become a burden. That’s not to say that there weren’t some Sunday nights when I was struggling, going ‘What the heck am I publishing on Tuesday?’
There are definitely those moments that have happened. I have, a couple times, scrambled and called in a few Twitter favors to say, ‘Hey, I really need somebody to talk to. Are you available?’
On the other hand, I so enjoy doing the podcasts and having the interviews. While my podcasts may be 35-45 minutes long, most of my conversations are at least an hour. I’ve been on for a couple hours with people like Meredith Gould and Mike Sevilla in my space.
It’s just such a pleasure to talk to people and learn things about them that I didn’t know. With so many people, because it is about healthcare, they are telling me about really personal stories and really important stories: whether it’s the empowered patients, or it’s about what’s going on in digital health.
It’s so exciting and so interesting that it’s a pleasure.
That is probably the most important part. I know you and I talk about podcasting with other people. It’s about speaking with passion. It’s not going out and finding the niche you can make a million bucks in because honestly, there isn’t one. If you don’t care, there isn’t one.
It’s about something…do you really want to talk about this? Do you really want to share information about this topic? I’ve found that all my marketing background (which was very general – business to consumer), this healthcare has got an incredibly important goal of saving lives and making people’s lives better.
Suddenly I’ve found myself really charged up with the ability to share these stories. It really was from a standpoint of: this is important work, regardless of whether I can make a buck out of it or not.
Dave: That’s great! So, the success for you is just the impact that you’re having, is that right?
Janet: Well certainly initially it was personal success. Am I learning? Am I growing? Am I becoming more knowledgeable about this?
Janet: It really did have a very personal goal for me. Then it got to be: this is wonderful! I’m sharing stories that other people don’t know about or aren’t hearing, and I am letting people know about these important, important people and the things that are happening to them, regardless of whether they have a giant national Twitter following.
Ultimately, the success metric also is personal again in the sense of business. I want to make a business out of what I’m doing, now teaching social media for healthcare.
Therefore, I need to evangelize enough so that the folks who are not active – the physicians and healthcare practitioners who are not active – are not only saying, ‘Oh, that makes sense now. You’re telling me stories that I can relate to in my practice. I do want to do social media. And you know what? You know something so I might want to get my information from you.’
Dave: What’s been the hardest part about building the podcast in your particular niche?
Janet: Building the podcast wasn’t so hard simply because there are thousands and thousands of stories worth sharing. Again, the hook being always that there is some social media angle in there, even if the social media angle is it’s somebody just learning about and doing it.
There are lots of stories to tell. The challenge is how do you actually make a business out of this? How do you take this information and build a reputation as someone who knows something about marketing and social media, when indeed, the people you’re talking to aren’t quite there yet.
Hopefully in the process of talking to other people and doing the podcast, when the student is ready, the master will appear.
I’m not saying I’m a master, but when somebody is ready and they are at that point where they’re like, ‘Okay, I get it. I need to be doing social media. Who am I going to look to?’ Hopefully I’m one of the folks whose names pop up.
Dave: It seems like you’re in a good trend or a good spot with healthcare always being a hot topic, always in need, and social media on the rise, and digital marketing in general.
Janet: What’s interesting about the field is there are definitely some marketing professionals who are extremely well-known and have very high credibility in the field, and that’s great. They work for ad agencies for the most part; there are a few that are consultants. They all work on the enterprise level.
For me, as an individual practitioner trying to establish a business, that’s not where my focus is. I was really looking to: who really needs my help? I think that’s what we would refer to in retail as the “mom and pop.”
It’s the independent healthcare practice. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all straight up medical. It could be anybody who has to be concerned about privacy and HIPAA.
That actually could be massage therapists, physical therapists, any practice where you’re actually taking insurance or dealing with somebody’s medical condition.
Dave: What’s been the most successful thing you’ve done to boost your podcast and connect or build your audience?
Janet: As much as there are books out there about ‘Don’t chase the influencer… the most successful thing that got me off the ground is that I had two or three folks, particularly physicians, who were known as gurus in social media or very active social media users.
Lots of thanks go out to Dr. Kevin Po, Dr. Mike Sevilla, Dr. Brian Bardevedian.
All of them have been very active in not just using social media, but in speaking to the medical community about the importance of social media.
Some of my early guests were super helpful in not just giving me the opportunity to speak to them, but healthcare is an incredibly generous field. If you need to know something, there are people out there who are willing to teach you and share and promote.
What I have found is that most of the folks that have been my guests have been really great about sharing.
I think that’s the place to start. When you consider that our audience is already one that’s slow to come to social media, if the folks that are already there who are evangelists who are willing to share – that makes a huge difference.
Dave: Do you seek out those people when you’re looking for guests or do you just get lucky if they happen to be an evangelist and share?
Janet: Definitely as I go through my list – I’m being more organized now about who I have on my show – I am looking for influencers. That’s one group. Another group are people who actually work in the field doing marketing for physicians.
I seek out a lot of small healthcare ad agencies, web design firms, people who are really doing nuts and bolts stuff so that I can have these episodes that are really full of tactical, practical stuff. You can only do theory so much of the time.
Janet: The point is: Hey, I get it. We got to do it.
Dave: How do you do it?
Janet: Yeah, so the influencers are very important. They generally are very generous and share information. It’s also important to have them on board because if you get a couple of folks, then that triggers a waterfall.
So, yes, I do think you need to chase influencers, as long as they actually influence. I will say that I’ve been real lucky in that, a couple of folks who might be relatively new to social media, they’re very good in their field, and they’re like, ‘I don’t know if I need to do that.’
And I’m like, ‘Check out my website.’ Then they go, ‘Oh! You’ve interviewed so-and-so and so-and-so, and so you’re alright.’
Dave: Right, right.
Janet: That has been a huge boost in… I rarely get turn downs. I may get, ‘I’m way too busy, and it may be two months before I can talk to you,’ but I rarely get turn downs for being on the show.
That certainly makes it a lot easier and has put me in a position to be able to balance my guests so I can have the big influencer versus the guy down the street who really has something good to say about video marketing.
Dave: Speaking of nuts and bolts, let’s dig into that a little bit. How do you go about promoting your show or marketing your show?
Janet: The main gist of what I do is in Twitter because that’s where a lot of the early adopters in healthcare social media are coming.
That’s what they hear a lot. I don’t know if people are aware of this, but I do want to share this – this is really important stuff. There’s this website called “Symplur.” S-Y-M-P-L-U-R. They have something called the Healthcare Hashtag Project.
There are hundreds of hashtags that are healthcare related. For instance, if you have diabetes, you can go in and look up diabetes and you can find out where are the conferences about diabetes?
Where are the Twitter chats about diabetes? Where are the general hashtags that are used? So that you can actually find the conversations online that are happening.
Because of stuff like that, it makes it very easy when I have guests who are in a specific field. For instance, I recently interviewed someone who’s a musician who has cerebral palsy. I’ve interviewed other people who might specialize in diabetes or in multiple sclerosis.
That way, by using the right hashtags, I can find those communities. Twitter is my first and foremost – that’s my go to.
Then I will cross-promote in LinkedIn and Facebook. Facebook, that’s really a placeholder for me where I want to have a little bit longer forum information.
I’m not trying to build a huge audience in Facebook. It’s really where I just direct people when I have a little bit more to say.
LinkedIn I’ve used quite a bit. That’s been very effective as far as sharing and reaching certain communities and allowing me to connect with a lot of folks who, in healthcare, the only thing they do is LinkedIn because that’s the “safe” social media website.
Dave: Right, right. That’s a really cool website and I’ll include a link to that. Is there anything like that – that’s healthcare specific, is that right?
Janet: Yes, that is all about healthcare. So it’s actually, I imagine, harder for folks to find common interests in other fields, but I’m sure they’re out there. But it’s definitely for healthcare.
Whether you are an e-patient, or you have a family member who has a brain cancer, or any kind of cancer, you can go find out where the conversations are happening and you can get really pertinent, relevant information.
I have to tell you: unless you’re following someone like the Cleveland Clinic or the Mayo Clinic, you don’t want to be getting your healthcare information from Facebook. I’m just telling you right now. Unless you have vetted out your source, it’s baloney.
Dave: Yeah. I wanted to ask about what is a day in the life look like for you on Twitter as far as how are you building relationships? Are you following people and connecting with people? Or are you just advertising your podcast episodes and things like that?
Janet: I very much feel that my role as a healthcare social media specialist, or whatever I am ( I hate to give myself a title).
Dave: Rockstar. Rockstar is your title.
Janet: Okay, thank you! I’ll take your title. I just won’t give myself one. Since I’m in the field – and this is very much specifically what I talk about: I feel like I have to walk the walk and talk the talk.
So while I do talk about my podcasts, since it is very much a podcast service, I don’t worry about talking about it too much, but it really is that traditional 80-20 rule.
I’m definitely curating at least 80 percent of my content from other sources and other people, re-tweeting folks who I admire who are doing good work that needs to share.
And about 20 percent will be my podcast, and maybe five percent will be the other products or services that I have developed out of all this work in social media.
Dave: What are you using to keep up with content and curate that content?
Janet: As it turns out, I actually have a service that collates all of my subscriptions. They keep telling me that I have subscribed to 1,800 email lists.
Janet: Well, nobody gives anything up for free. Eventually, at the end of the year, I think I did a little house cleaning and I got rid of a lot of the junky stuff that’s in there.
For the most part, I have about four or five lists where they are already curating information.
So I curate the curation and find the stuff that’s much more specific to what I’m interested in. Then I follow a couple of key hashtags where there are other folks that are in healthcare marketing who also share a lot of great information, and I will share that as well.
Dave: Do you get a lot of response and engagement from what you’re doing?
Janet: It depends. There are certain people that when they speak, the world stops to listen and they will get a lot of traction. I feel an obligation to share their stuff because it’s just so darn good.
And then other times, you never know. Sometimes it’s a funny tweet that gets a lot of love. Particularly during a tweet chat where you can let your hair down a little bit, you can respond a little bit.
Sometimes when they’re getting deep in the weeds of electronic health records or health IT, I sometimes struggle a little bit to contribute so I do more re-tweeting than original posting.
But if we’re talking about marketing or social media, I will often have a perspective that is shared often. Then, there’s sometimes when I’m in a healthcare tweet chat and I’m sharing my perspective as a patient.
I don’t really have two cents on the topic, but since we’re talking, I’m always a patient. Everyone is always a patient or a consumer. You always have a perspective where you can share.
Sometimes I like to just ask the dumb question because I don’t know. Why do you do this that way? I don’t have any problem saying, ‘I’m not a physician, I’m not a medical practitioner, I don’t have twenty years of healthcare marketing.’
I need to come in and say, ‘Why do you do it this way’ because there’s still a lot of very traditional marketing going on. If you’re still buying billboards to assuage some senior surgeon’s ego, you’re not doing your job.
Dave: I work with a lot of small business owners who are still very shy when it comes to social media and getting online. Define for us – and I assume this is the same way for you – define what a tweet chat is just for those people listening that might not know.
Janet: The wonderful thing about Twitter – and Instagram is a little bit that way as well – in that, you can use a hashtag (also known as the pound sign).
If you use that at the beginning of a phrase, or a word, or an acronym, anyone who is following that same word, or phrase, or acronym, can all see the same content.
Unlike having to follow somebody, but with an @ symbol to see what they’re saying, any people could use a hashtag and then you’re all in the same community.
In healthcare, there are a lot of regular tweet chats. For instance, Sunday nights at 9:00, there’s a tweet chat that is #hcsm, which stands for healthcare communications social media.
It is a Twitter chat that happens once a week at that time for an hour on that specific topic. Another extremely popular one is #hcldr, which stands for healthcare leader. That’s every Tuesday night at 8:30.
That particular tweet chat, which may be the best produced Twitter chat in healthcare, is a group of three individuals who’ve come together. They write a very extensive blog post and then they post ahead of time specific questions.
Then what you’ll do is you’ll jump in, you introduce yourself, and everybody says, ‘Hey!’ And then, here’s the first question: How can patients relate to their healthcare providers via digital?
Then people are popping in and out, sometimes re-tweeting the question, sometimes adding an answer, and then here come the debates, and here comes the back and forth.
So, you end up going through 3-4 to as many as 6 questions in an hour where people are literally sharing 140 character answers to certain questions or ideas.
Dave: That’s very cool! Have you seen that work outside of healthcare? Does that work in other industries?
Janet: Certainly in marketing in general, there’s been a few tweet chats held locally. I’ve also seen it used in the entrepreneurial startup space where they’ll invite someone who’s got a successful startup to come in and have conversations.
I’m sure they’re in any vertical you can find one. I’m not looking for any more than those, but they’re definitely all over the place.
I think the unique thing about a tweet chat is the ability to connect people of like mind, or at least of like interest in a topic who would never run across each other any other way.
Dave: Sure! Yeah, very cool. Now I want to ask: Is there some common advice that you’ve been told about marketing and growing your podcast that you think is wrong or common knowledge, common advice out there?
Janet: We just covered the ‘don’t chase/do chase the influencer.’ I do think it’s important. I think what you need to balance is don’t ONLY chase the influencer.
If whatever you have as your topic, hopefully you’re giving time to people who have a wonderful story to tell and something important to say.
Who cares if they have a super popular podcast or they already have 100,000 Twitter followers? If you’re only chasing those people, then I think you just become shallow.
If you’re not adding deep, rich context and giving people who need a voice, a voice, then you’re probably not truly serving or having a true servant mentality to your podcast.
I think that is important. I think podcasters that I know are not using Twitter very effectively at all. Especially those Twitter bombers (which I don’t see as much anymore, but probably because I’ve blocked them).
Those people! Curses upon you – Twitter bombing is horrible. Don’t do that!
Dave: Right. Yeah… go ahead.
Janet: Twitter bombing is where you talk all about yourself and you literally throw a tweet out there every fifteen minutes and you just bomb everybody with tweets.
To add insult to injury, those that put a link in their tweet, that when you click on it, it automatically starts playing your podcast, shame, shame, shame! That’s a horrible idea. Please don’t do that!
Dave: What would you recommend on the flip side? What should they be doing – if they’re not used to using Twitter, but you’re saying that’s what they should be doing?
Janet: Twitter is not a broadcast network. It is about engaging and connecting and having conversations. So if all you’re talking about is yourself, then you are not grasping the concept of Twitter.
However, what you should be talking about is the thing that your podcast is all about. If you are a comedian, or you have a family podcast, or you have a podcast on healthcare, or you have a podcast on podcasting, you should be engaging in conversations with people in that space and doing a “pay it forward” thing.
Find other podcasts in that topic. Find other people who are writing good blog posts and share those. Think about how can you add extra content and context to the field or vertical you’re interested in, and, ‘oh, by the way, 20 percent of my tweets are going to be about my podcast.’
Dave: This is a personal issue that I’ve had and I’ve been on Twitter for a long time, and sometimes I find value and sometimes I don’t. I guess it’s partly because I’m in the marketing world.
There comes a point where I’m following several hundred people that are all marketers and all they’re doing is just promoting themselves and I’m trying to have conversations.
How do you even go about finding people that will have that conversation with you and that are not just out there promoting their own agenda?
Janet: The interesting thing is a lot of the folks that I have the best conversations with now are the people who were my guests on the podcast.
Dave: Very cool!
Janet: So, getting to know them and what they’re doing and then seeing them in Twitter – ‘Hey Janet, how’s it going?’ ‘Great!’ ‘How’s your day? What are you working on?’ Or you’re re-tweeting their stuff because you’re interested in their stuff.
Ideally, it seems to me if you’re interviewing a bunch of people – if you have an interview show, and you’re interviewing a bunch of people, and then you never have another conversation with them again, then why did you interview them in the first place?
In theory, they should be in your vertical, right?
Dave: Right, right. That’s a good point. Tell me a little bit about…I think we’ve had some offline conversations about Blab or Periscope. Are you using either one of those and how’s that going for you?
The difference between, for instance, Jared Johnson’s Health IT Marketer podcast and mine is that he’s very interested in the IT space and in the digital space.
We have interviewed some of the same people and we’ve each interviewed each other which I think is really funny because when you go back and listen to each of our individual podcasts with the other person, even though we’ve interviewed the same people, they’re totally different interviews.
Dave: Sure, sure.
Janet: So, therefore, I wouldn’t worry about if someone likes a particular person, don’t worry that they’ve already been interviewed a few times. Your audience may not have ever heard them before.
That said, you need to at least listen to enough interviews so that you can figure out ‘How do I break them out of telling my same old startup story every time?’ Ask them the off the wall, the different kind of question.
Find an angle that’s true to your podcast theme and ask that in a slightly different way. Maybe you catch them off guard and you get them to break out of the ‘This is what I always say.’
I did have at least one podcaster who was an influencer who kind of went into auto response mode. He wasn’t reading, it’s just that he’s delivered it a lot from the stage and he’s just super comfortable telling his story. I was drifting off going, ‘I’ve heard this before.’
Had I been maybe later on, I would’ve found some way to maybe say, ‘So, do you dress up at Halloween and what was your last costume?’ Something to really just throw them for a loop.
Dave: Let’s go back to Blab a little bit. You’ve got a weekly Blab show and is that to help you connect with other people in your vertical, or your niche, or is that to help promote what you’re doing – or a little bit of both?
Janet: It’s a little bit of both, and also in particular because my other co-hosts are much more on the high-level, C suite, business side of healthcare.
They’re on the IT side. They all love the national conference HIMSS, which is a 50,000 person healthcare IT event, which I’m not sure I would ever attend.
Dave: That’s big!
Janet: Yeah, it’s huge, and it’s very specifically in the IT space. I’m actually looking to them as they’re my weekly thought leaders that are bringing other subjects. How we work it is we trade off being the host.
The host sets up the Blab, gets to invite a guest, should we have a guest, or pull the topic. We started initially going, ‘Okay, each of us pulls a topic, and then each of us is going to have an article that was in the news.’ We suddenly found that an hour was nowhere near enough.
I’m also of the opinion now that probably 45 minutes is more than enough because we do it Monday at noon EST, so it’s either people’s lunch, or on the Pacific end, it’s when they’re having their first cup of coffee.
Just because you can talk forever, doesn’t mean it’s still as interesting. Same reason that the podcasts that are 90 minutes – I don’t have time for a 90-minute podcast, no matter how much fun it is.
I would rather have it be concise, to the point, let’s answer questions. Even if it’s a fun conversation, just don’t ramble and waste my time, like I’m doing now.
Dave: You’re definitely not wasting our time. How many people do you think join you on those Blabs each week?
Janet: Oh, it’s a small audience. It’s between fifteen and thirty. It’s the thing that you don’t know because analytics with Blab are not all that fabulous. Who knows what kind of life span it has?
I actually have a widget on my website that if I host a Blab and I’ve set it up, it will automatically post to my website within fifteen minutes or so. Not the ones from the other people.
I could grab those and post those, but since those aren’t topics that usually tie directly into healthcare social media. But mine are actually there.
I don’t put them in where my podcasts are because the format looks different and the website theme that I have was specifically designed by Appendipity for podcasters.
I put so much time and effort into my podcasts that I didn’t want the Blab to just suddenly pop over and take precedence.
Janet: So, I’m not reposting. A lot of people do – they’re using their Blabs to have an additional podcast stream, or they’re putting them up on YouTube. I have not been really focused on doing that.
That’s probably an opportunity that I have. I know someone who uses Blab who will use the Blab and do it as a Q&A and hopefully get an audience while he’s there, get an audience as it’s replayed.
But then what he’s doing is he’s chopping it into every individual question – he’s chopping it into every three to five minute YouTube video.
Dave: Wow, okay.
Janet: So, he’s got the initial audience where he says, ‘Hey, I’m going to talk about…in this particular case, I’m going to talk about online courses and do Q&A’ and then he is very clear about his start and stop of his question so they can chop that into little pieces.
Now he’s got ten questions out of every Blab. His goal is to have 500 questions in YouTube. It’s brilliant, it’s a great idea and I really should think about doing that, but I’m just trying to decide how much time and effort would need to go into that to make it pay off.
Dave: Do you think Blab is something that’s going to be around for awhile?
Janet: I’m very worried actually. I love the format and I love the ability to engage. I have met more national, social media gurus and names face-to-face via Blab than the whole time I’ve been doing social media.
I love it’s connectivity and a lot of things about it. I’d love to be doing a Blab with our North Carolina Podcasters group. However, just recently, somebody has published some information that Blab might be rethinking their model.
I don’t know why; I love it the way it is. They need to do some things technically to make it better.
Janet: There are challenges with it and it’s been in Beta for over a year. I don’t know when they go to…what’s after Beta? Theta, Delta?
Dave: I think it’s typically live, but there’s businesses that have been in Beta for years, I think.
Janet: At some point, they need to call it a business. I’d be willing to pay for the platform to get a few things assured. However, now I hear that Blab might be shifting or pivoting or something and that distresses me because I like it the way that it is.
Dave: Sure, sure. Is there any other tips that you would have for somebody that’s not familiar with marketing but is starting a podcast in their specific area of expertise that maybe they should do?
What’s the first thing they should do to start promoting their show and building their audience?
Janet: First off, of course, remember that this isn’t about broadcasting you. It’s about joining whatever community it is that you’re talking about. I see a lot of people in the communities I’m in that are thinking about podcasting and I might be starting one soon, or in six months, or whatever.
Well, then start now in social media. Not necessarily in broadcasting the name of your podcast and coming soon, but getting involved to know who are the influencers. Who are the people that you want to help now so that when the time comes where you might need some promotion, they’re willing to support you.
It seems like an awful lot of people are just going live without having done the prep work to set up a marketing plan and to start to establish online credibility. That’s kind of surprising.
Dave: Yeah, I see that. Whether it’s somebody writing a book, starting a podcast, or even launching a new business, there’s this old way of thinking, of going behind the curtain and creating the thing and then reveal it to the world.
It’s much more effective, as you’ve said, to start finding where people are already gathered around that topic and start building your credibility and helping that community; and then finding out what they need and then bringing that to them.
Janet: Absolutely! I had been tweeting actively for at least six months in the community so that when finally I was like, ‘Hey, I’ve got a podcast.’ People were saying, ‘Hey, everybody, you should listen to Janet’s podcast.’
It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, here’s a podcast to listen to.’ It was, ‘Listen to Janet’s podcast.’ It made a big difference.
Dave: I want to ask just one or two more questions before I let you go. I know we’ve also spoken offline about you’ve been a member of Podcasters Paradise for quite some time.
How has that community been to you? If somebody’s thinking about getting involved, either in that community or in another paid program – do you think that’s been worth it for you? Or any helpful tips or warnings?
Janet: I definitely think joining a community is of value. Joining a paid community has the benefit of knowing that whoever it was that enticed you to be there should always be there.
There was one community I was in where the person whose name was on the community wasn’t at all active. It happened though that the community was so strong and the moderators were so good that they answered all the questions so you didn’t necessarily have to have them there.
But I did find it odd that that person didn’t want to be in the community they started.
Now, that said, I have joined a variety of either online course programs or membership sites and they vary greatly. I think the main thing is you get out what you put in. Nobody’s there to ask you how you’re doing.
This is not like middle school. This is, ‘You’re on your own buddy.’ When I join communities, I join knowing I need to get this out of it and I have the time now to go all in for at least thirty days.
I tend to be a huge consumer of content in the first thirty days that I join a group. At this point, then I determine, okay, so what am I learning? Am I still learning? Have I made connections with other people?
Podcasters Paradise, when I joined, it was a flat fee, whether you broke it into payments or you paid one time, so it was a flat fee. I joined because it was while I had started my career in radio, it was back in the days when you actually used a razor blade and tape to edit.
I had no idea how to do the technical side. We didn’t have a local podcasters group, per se, although once I joined Podcasters Paradise, I found 3 or 4 other folks in my area who were podcasting and were able to meet up and give some advice.
I really wanted, ‘Okay, it might be 2 in the morning, but I’m ready to learn how to edit an audacity.’ I need to get somewhere to get a question answered.
Podcasters Paradise provided both the tutorial information I needed, but also had an extremely robust community that has always been available, almost 24/7.
Because literally, these are people around the world who, if you’re having a problem with a mic, or an editing problem, or where do I get x? And they’re also super welcoming to the newbies.
There’s always someone in there going, ‘So, how do I launch my podcast?’ You’re like, ‘Okay, let’s go back to the beginning.’ That really is a wonderful community.
Now I understand that it has maybe become a monthly subscription service so that’s where you need to make a decision. At this point, because I’m a lifetime member. I love the fact that I can pop in whenever I need information.
If I were paying every month, obviously after 100 episodes, I’ve kind of figured out a lot of things, so I don’t know that I would need that service. I really like the one time fee and you’re in forever deal.
Dave: Sure, sure. And what types of podcasts do you listen to when you’re not doing the show yourself?
Janet: It’s funny. I find the iTunes search so horrible that I know I am missing all kinds of awesome podcasts and it really annoys me.
Sometimes I have to search (even though I’ve got keywords in there), I have to search hard to find myself, and I’m like, ‘Nobody’s talking about healthcare social media. Why is this so hard to find this podcast?’
It’s the same stuff served up over and over and over again, and of course, the mystery of iTunes metrics.
I would say for work, for learning about social media, Social Media Examiner is a must do. They have a couple of podcasts I listen to. There’s about four or five other marketing specific and social media specific podcasts that I keep my ear to.
Other than that, I haven’t found anything. I don’t listen to comedy. I don’t listen to long forum. I don’t listen to stories. I really use it as, ‘I want to learn something today.’
Janet: The frustrating ones are the ones that are like five to seven minutes long. I know that sounds great and it sounds like you have a million podcasts, but buddy, you can’t convey much information in seven minutes.
And then I have to find another one and if I’m driving in my stick shift car, that’s another 2,000. It’s not easy to safely find another podcast to listen to.
Dave: I think you’ve touched on something we don’t often talk about, but I think you can have a podcast that’s too short – just like a lot of people think you can have one that’s too long.
I think you can have one that’s a little bit too short. It’s just not even worth finding and downloading and listening to.
Janet: Absolutely, absolutely. I think about fifteen minutes is my minimum. I will say I do listen to Ask Pat. I actually asked a question on his show and just got my t-shirt this week.
Janet: It was really awesome! He’s very, very helpful. Sometimes he’ll have a short one that might be about seven or eight minutes long, but usually because he’s asking a specific question, it’s really worth tuning in to listen to.
I like my podcasts to be, what they say the average commute time is about 26-30 minutes, so I kind of shoot for a podcast that’s consumable in one ride.
There’s a couple like Fizzle I really enjoy. They’re crazy, crazy podcasts. A couple of times I’m yelling at the thing, ‘Shut up! Let the other guy talk.’ But I love listening to the energy they have. They’re so passionate about what they do.
So passionate about helping people become better business people so that I enjoy listening to that even though I’m not necessarily learning anything, what I am getting though is affirmation that I might be on the right path, so that’s super helpful.
Dave: What do you think makes a podcast remarkable? In your opinion, what do you think makes one stand out more?
Janet: If you’re going to podcast because you really have something to share, something to illuminate, something to bring to other people’s attention that they may not know about, that you really care what you’re talking about.
I think the podcasts that are just: listen to me yammer on, I tend to lose interest in those. If you’ve got something specific, even if it’s funny, or silly, or historical, or quirky, or interesting, it can be anything.
But just be there with an idea that the minute I’m listening is as precious as the minute you’re giving.
Dave: Yeah. And if you could only listen to one podcast, what’s the most remarkable podcast that you would listen to that you just couldn’t live without.
Janet: I love Stuff you Missed in History. I’m a history geek. I’m not a Dan Carlin 4-hour history geek, I like little snippets and quirky people and stories of things that I might have missed in history, so I love those gals. They’re doing a great job.
Dave: Well, do you have anything going on that you would like to promote? I think you’ve mentioned at Get Social Health that you’ve got some courses over there, and I’m not sure how many of our listeners are in the healthcare world, but what are you doing over there?
Janet: So the interesting thing about podcasters paradise, and the podcast world, is there are an awful lot of people who start a podcast thinking ‘this is my get rich quick.’ They’ve heard the three stories of people who hit it out of the park and are really awesome.
You know, the top one percenters. But let me tell you, if you start with no audience of any kind and not a firm plan, or you’re a shadow of someone else’s podcast, it is not thousands of people. The Libsyn folks will tell you, the average download per episode is like 165.
So set your goals that are realistic in that sense. So one of the things that always being talked about is that horrible world monetization, monetization, monetization. And you know what, if we wanted to be in radio, go be in broadcast radio and sell ads.
But if you want to be in a podcast and convey information, you need to find that unique audience who’s willing to support you in some way, or you do it just because you believe in it.
So that’s where I started, and then as I was moving forward, I was getting some folks who were asking 101 level questions, and what is this all about.
The tricky thing about social media and healthcare is patient privacy is of tantamount importance, not just because it’s the polite thing to do, but because you have federal and state laws and regulations that apply to it.
So you can’t pick up Facebook for Dummies and just start posting in social media without training, not just for the person doing it, but really for the complete staff.
There fortunately haven’t been any fines levied as far as a HIPAA problem in social media, but there definitely have been people who have lost their job, lost their licenses, facing lawsuits.
Dave: Yeah, yeah.
Janet: So it became audience that the way for me to monetize my podcast was to teach, and to share this information in an informative and interesting way. So one of the things I’ve been doing for the last two or three years is individual webinars for healthcare associations like the American Academy of Dermatology, or the American Physical Therapy Association.
But again, you only reach 30, 50, you know 90 people in a webinar. If I took that content and put it in an online course format, then I have the opportunity to reach a lot more people.
So the past year has been very much an exploration into how to start my own business, and how to do online courses and a lot of learning about software and WordPress and a lot of fun stuff like that.
So, I actually created a sister site, GetSocialHealthAcademy.com, because I didn’t want to have my messing around with a WordPress website to in anyway cause a problem so that my podcast would go down.
So Get Social Health is pure podcasting and pure blabs, and from there you can see some links to get over to Get Social Health Academy.
So the first part was creating online courses, and the second part is going to be doing that through affiliates and having practice management specialists, and ad agencies that deal in small practice marketing use my courses for either onboarding teaching of that sort.
The big thing that’s just launching this June is something called Social Content Solutions.
The biggest problems that all the small practices have is that they don’t have expertise, one, which of course you can learn, but then feeding the voracious appetite of social media for content is really what’s making it so hard for small practices to engage.
So what I have is a healthcare oriented social media strategy and content that they can use to fill the funnel. And then I give them a lot of other information about blog post ideas and how to take this content that’s out here and how to customize it for your local practice.
So it’s giving you about 75% of what you need to have a nice healthy Facebook and online presence, and then here are the things that you can do to kind of fill that out.
So Social Content Solutions is the big thing I’m talking about, and hopefully get to a point where I can actually have it vertically based.
So in other words, right now it’s healthcare, but hopefully I’m going to end up with a package that’s ophthalmology, and cosmetic surgery, and that sort of thing.
Dave: Very good.
Janet: That’s the big push that’s on now, is trying to make people more aware of that. But again, the folks that need to know it are the folks that aren’t super into social media right now, so I’m having to re-learn some classic online marketing techniques, to try to find in an inexpensive way my potential audience.
So we know they’re there as human beings, as people. Just not necessarily as medical professionals. So I don’t know, I might have to be calling on David Mooring to get some help there.
Dave: Well, you know, I’m happy to help. And that sounds really promising though, and I wish you all the best. I’ll include a couple of links to that on my notes page, so if somebody wants to check out what you’re doing they can do that.
Where else should we go to find you, I know you’re active on Twitter. Anywhere you want to send us?
Janet: So if you look for Get Social Help, you will stumble across me in Twitter, in Facebook, in LinkedIn, and then obviously the podcast and the website.
So it’s all Get Social Health, and the only thing that’s different is the Get Social Help Academy, which is the courses and social content solutions.
Dave: Awesome. Well, everybody go check out what Janet is doing and say hi, and that you heard her here on the Remarkable podcast.
And Janet, thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate all of your advice, you’ve provided a lot of tips here, a lot of useful information, I really appreciate it.
Janet: Always a great pleasure talking to you, David.
Dave: Thanks, let’s keep in touch, bye bye.