I'm an author, speaker and professor. I'm also the CEO of Pure Performance, which is a communications consulting firm that helps clients to expand their brand awareness and create better experiences for customers through a blend of strategic storytelling and technology. I’ve been training, educating and mentoring professionals throughout my 30-year career. In 2014, I decided to take my mentoring and educating to a new plateau. When I learned how women working in media paled in comparison to men, and that only 13% of podcast hosts were women, I started to research podcasting as a way to power up the voices of women. I wanted to give women a platform and a voice through new media. With cyberbully and harassment also on the rise, I thought my show, Women Worldwide would become a vehicle for women to help one another, educate on important issues, and share advice about their successes and challenges in their careers and life.
After several months of research and talking to other people who were podcasting, we recorded the first Women Worldwide interview in November 2014. The goal was to interview amazing women who would share their career journeys and accomplishments, as well as highlight their toughest challenges. By 2016, we had reached 1 million downloads and our audience soon increased from global women listeners to men too. Today we have a 70 / 30 split of women and men, respectively.
The show continues to shine a light on people who have passionate stories to tell, and want to help others find their internal strength, energy and focus. From the time I started researching and finding the right partner to help with the production, distribution and promotion of my podcast, it took about six months of legwork to get up and running. I also did some “Tech Testing” to see if I liked being a podcast host. I spent some time as a guest co-host on The Social Network Show to make sure that I actually felt comfortable and wanted to invest in my own show. Learning through partners was a great way to experience what it was like to podcast and go through the process before taking the leap myself. I also listened to different podcasts to learn from other hosts, which is still something that I do today.
When it comes to finding the time, I offer advice to other professionals … If you really care about something and you want to make it a part of your reality, then you'll find the time. You have to make it a priority, which comes down to something as simple as scheduling the time on your calendar. Podcasting requires time and resources. I spend about three to four hours a week on Women Worldwide, but I also have a team that coordinates the entire process from production and distribution to show promotion. As a team, we're able to publish Women Worldwide every Friday.
Over the years, Women Worldwide has been funded through advertisers and sponsors at different points in the show's development. Today, we’re working with college sponsors and we do onsite (recorded) interviews at company events and industry conferences for our sponsor partners.
Another source of funding is through the Women Worldwide guests who interview on my show and the reach of their network. The Women Worldwide podcast has led to new business opportunities and speaking engagements. When I've asked people how they've heard about me or my work, they mention Women Worldwide. The people you put in the "interview seat" can directly or indirectly help to fund your podcast.
The Women Worldwide podcast has opened up my network to accomplished women and men (we interview men now too) that I admire. It’s also helped to expand my digital brand presence to be recognized as not just a communications strategist but an influential women in business. I often say that personally, I’ve learned and I’ve grown as a professional from the people I chat with every week. Whenever I interview guests, the information they share can be applied to my life and career.
When I first started podcasting I was very focused on the downloads. I knew that securing advertisers and sponsors meant having the listeners or the numbers. Today, we have a good organic listener base per episode, which ranges from 3,500 to 5,000 listeners. Then, when we add in targeted campaigns, the downloads can increase dramatically. The numbers certainly attract people who want to reach out audience.
However, it’s not just about the numbers. As a marketer and a PR professional, I know the relationships you can forge with your guests, after the show, is what really counts. You can take those relationships all the way up the relationship staircase to the top -- the trusted friend, business partner and confidant. However, like any relationship, what you put into the relationship is what you get out of it. I’m finding that the Women Worldwide network is a place where relationships happen. Not only have I grown friendships and business relationships, but I’ve also introduced different guests who go off and do great things together.
The Women Worldwide team has a structured process. The pitches come in through the many publicists and PR agencies that I’ve worked with in the past. My Virtual Assistant (VA) does all of the bookings of the show pre-calls by phone or Skype and scheduling of the recorded episodes. We record shows on a set day, twice a month. Our engineer / producer sets up the Zencastr platform, and all I have to do is show up and have an interesting discussion with the guest for 40 minutes. Of course, I take the time to share possible topics and questions with the guests, in advance, so they can feel prepared and comfortable with the interview.
The shows are edited and uploaded to the Women Worldwide show page with the show notes. The show is also distributed through several channels including iTunes, AudioBoom, GooglePlay and the C-Suite Radio Network. We generate pre- and post show assets for our weekly guests and the shows are released every Friday. Sharing these assets with guests and their publicists or agencies really helps to amplify the sharing and increase the downloads of an episode.
We have a team that does the marketing, which includes a social media community manager who engages on Twitter and Facebook with Women Worldwide listeners who can follow and “friend” us. We also advertise through select channels including Facebook and Google. I also share through my own social media networks the guests that are "Coming Soon" and which shows are "Available Now.” I also like to do "Quoted" tweets based on what my guests share. Because we pull out their compelling quotes from the interviews it’s a way to share with my network and add to the conversation. You’ll see a lot of quoted tweets / shows through the @dbreakenridge Twitter handle.
The marketing and sharing doesn’t stop with the Women Worldwide and Deirdre Breakenridge social media communities. We’ve noticed that our guests are active through their social media channels, blogs, and their email newsletters too. It's also interesting to note that once the sharing begins on social media, it’s a non-stop process. Even today, we see sharing of shows from past years and they're still getting downloads. Older shows just take on a life of their own. That's the beauty of social media. It’s no longer about campaigns that start and stop … just continuous sharing and engagement if the topic, guest or issues resonate with our audience.
Another good way to market your show is to be a guest on someone else's podcast. If you're a guest then you have access to the host's network. You're basically sharing audiences. If you give a good interview and people are interested in your work and your advice, then they will tune into your show and become a part of your community.
For new podcasters, I would say, "You can take your podcast to a new level, but you have to invest in your passion." Whether your show is entertaining, based on new trends, educates others or shares an industry perspective, be sure to do your research first. You have to understand your audience, deliver what they want, and be able to give the time and resources consistently. Most of all, make your podcast about your passion. When you do, your podcast doesn’t become one more part of your work day (or night) grind. On the contrary, your podcast becomes a way for you to learn and grow in your own career as you're sharing great information with your listeners.
Thank you. You can learn more about me at:
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