Podcasting has become more popular than ever, but what makes it different from other types of content? For one thing, people can listen to your podcast on the go – whether they’re in their cars, at their desks, at the gym, or even while they’re cooking or doing the laundry. They’ll be able to absorb your message on their schedule. But the real benefits of podcasting are much more than that.
A podcast is a very personal medium, and when listeners feel like they know someone through listening to them, it builds trust: not only will your listeners be more likely to work with you, but they’ll also be more likely to recommend you to others.
Joining Us Today Is Molly McGrath, Host of Hire and Empower Podcast
Molly is the Founder of Hiring & Empowering Solutions, a management consulting firm that offers hiring and training support to boutique law firms and solopreneurs. She’s also the host of Hire and Empower, a podcast that helps companies transform their employees into a dream team that creates consistent results in their business.
In this episode, Molly shares how podcasting has helped transform herself and her business. She believes it’s one of the best ways for business owners to connect with their ideal clients and also because it’s just so much fun!
In our conversation Molly and I talked about:
Tips on starting a podcast and the benefits of making the move today
How podcasting has helped transform herself and her business
Things she learned from podcasting and her advice to fellow podcasters
The Hire and Empower Podcast
Anne: Welcome to the show, Molly. This is going to be so fun. I’m super curious. Can you can tell us about your podcast or your podcast journey. But the first question is can you tell us more about the podcast itself? What is it all about and what do you do?
Molly: Absolutely. So the podcast is called Hire and Empower – was Hiring and Empowering. I’m going through a new rebranding to make it flow a little bit larger.
The name of my company is Hiring and Empowering. And my podcast is geared towards, helping the employee and the employer get on the same playing field and really try to transform all the office headaches, heartaches trauma that occur, that so many intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs deal with hiring, firing, communication, all the human stuff. I do talk about the business stuff, strategy, and KPIs. I’m trying to bring different elements, not to sell very rigid and heavy and hard business stuff, but I’ll bring in energy coaches. I’ll bring in all different kinds of different coaches and healers to really bring in the spiritual element into the transforming practice as well.
Anne: Yes, interesting. So you really cover a lot of different aspects of business, entrepreneurship, and also hiring practice.
Molly: What I try to do is I will try to listen to my clients’ perspectives. Clients pay attention to the conversations going on in various Facebook groups or what have you. And I try to use the exact words that my clients or prospective clients give me for the name of my podcasts.
One of the greatest things that my very first coach taught me is to speak into the listening of the other person in a way to make a difference for them. And so, I think that’s something that’s been helping my podcasts to be successful. I just looked at my numbers this morning in preparation for this, and I’m around I don’t know if this is good or bad – 21,000 downloads and my 100 episodes, which I was excited about. But yes, so I really tried to hit all different gamuts on leadership communication, but I try to use the words that the voice of the customer for the naming convention of my podcast.
Anne: I think that is a fantastic first tip that we can take away from this episode. Because if you see a question being asked in a Facebook group that you can relatively simple, just answer the question, because you know that someone wants to know the answer. So I think that is so smart. I should probably do this more myself. This is definitely great advice.
Why Molly Started Her Podcast
Anne: I think, can we go back a little bit to when you started a podcast? I’m also curious, when was this? And also, what was the main reason for you to start a podcast?
Molly: Oh gosh! It’s so crazy when people ask that question. I’m like, “I don’t know. I just did it.” But I need your listeners to hear I am not that person. I labor over everything – fear, anxiety, uncertainty, overwhelm, all that comes in. I’m off the chart, factfinder. I’m not a risk-taker much. However, I had friends of mine who said, “Oh, yes., I started a podcast.” And I’m like, why that sounds so overwhelming. And my recommendation is to hire a professional, someone like yourself, and write the check. Pay someone to support you with getting it from a place of ideation to launch.
So my journey was I found myself repeating the same question and answering the same question over and over again and getting the same question. And I would show up on these coaching calls or whatever I did to my client and just talk. And they’re like, “Oh, dang it. I wish we recorded that. Oh my gosh, can you repeat what you just said?” I’m like, “No, I don’t know what I just said. I just soul-spoke it. It just comes out to me.”
And so, I really realized a great way to leverage my content. AsI would get questions and I really didn’t answer them the way I wanted to the client or prospective client, I’m going to record a podcast on that. So it’s almost like when you start to think, I want a new car, I really want a Mercedes or whatever it is. And all of a sudden, you start to see the white Mercedes that you want, everywhere you turn. It was like everywhere I turn once, it just popped in my mind that I should do a podcast. And then, everything was like that would be a great podcast episode. And then going back to taking my client’s exact words, I would take them and open up a spreadsheet and I just started writing podcast titles. I just put them in the spreadsheet. It did end up for five days, one week at this. I had over 12 episodes. I was like, no I can’t not do this.
How to Easily Find Content for Your Podcast
Anne: So would you say that finding the content is very easy for you?
Molly: It’s the easiest thing. I’ll be on calls or I’ll be just navigating my world in my car, hearing conversations, listening to other podcasts. And I’ve sticky notes everywhere up. That’d be great podcasts, commercials, and articles I read. I’m like this would be a fantastic podcast.
I will take them and put them in an Excel spreadsheet coming up with the copy or content. I say trust your gut, trust your belly. If you hear something or you say something and you think to yourself, that’s an awesome question, or that was a great conversation, or you are talking to an existing client prospective client, it was like – I love that question or I love how you said that. There’s your podcast content. If one is interested, you can bet 100 are.
Podcasting Is Not as Difficult as It Seems
Anne: So what would you say was the hardest part of starting a podcast? You already mentioned that it’s scary to start something new and set this up. So hiring someone to help is probably also a way to commit to it. You got to have to do it right. But what would you say was the hardest part of starting and getting the podcast going?
Molly: Honestly, it was hearing my own voice stepping up to the mic. Hiring and the logistics are the easy part. And when you hire a professional, they make it easier too but there’s still for me, a paralyzing fear to actually recording your first episode. I think Gary Vee talks all the time about getting the crappy version out first.
I am not a person who is a public speaker at all. I used to public speak and go to these conferences, and II would cry every time I would hear my own voice. I would get so overwhelmed. The gremlins would come and this self-doubt, who do you think you are? You don’t know what you’re talking about. All those things would come up. So I would say just coming up to the mic and actually talking. My very first podcasts were so long over an hour. They had like no point to them. I will never go back and listen to them. They were just so painful.
So my podcast VA, she’s made me do 3 episodes solo, where I just talk. And I would say I would highly recommend that before you start bringing guests on and just get that out. But the hardest part was actually hitting record, and not letting the Gremlins and the self-doubt and my head trash get the best of me.
Anne: That definitely makes sense. I think we all feel that to some level. I think for some people maybe did a bit worse or not as bad, but I think everyone has this fear of hitting the record. And how has this changed over recording 150 episodes?
Molly: Oh, we got to my favorite thing to do. Today alone. I’m on 5 podcasts, which I’m really excited about. I was sharing that with my assistant, Marie. She was, “I’m looking at your calendar in this you have an exhausting day.” I’m like, “This is not exhausting to me.” Exhausting to me working on spreadsheets, but this is not exhausting. I’m not even the same person. I don’t even know who I am anymore because it is my absolute favorite, favorite thing to do. Whether I’m doing a solo episode or I’m being interviewed or I’m interviewing someone, I truly can come to a place where I almost throw all the scripts out anymore. I just really speak, be fully wholly present, be really super committed and grounded into making a difference for somebody else, and leave my own opinion out of the conversation. It’s just how can I make a difference and leave an impact even if it’s with one tip for somebody else? I have zero anxiety, zero fear. It is night and day. And this month it’s been three years and a month since I hit record and my very first episode.
Show Up and Just Do It
Anne: So how do you think that change happened was just from recording a lot? And just doing the thing over and over again? And it just got easier there? Or do you have any tips or tools to share for people who also kind of want to start a podcast but are afraid or just started? And they feel like they also want to be where you are now?
Molly: I would say it’s like anything else. I know this sounds so rogue, but practice, and just keep showing up, and keep doing it until you can. Because I use to have a ton of anxiety. Now, it’s my absolute favorite thing that I get to.
My commitment was to drop one episode a week every Tuesday. My podcast editor, she’s like, “Oh, that’s a big commitment. Are you sure?”, and I’m going to do it. In the beginning, she’d be constantly hounding me. I don’t have podcasts, I don’t have any content. And my social media team is like, where’s Tuesday’s podcast? I would get myself so completely bunched up but the only way out is through. So it is going to be tricky.
My recommendation is just to keep doing it. Keep being deeply curious and aware, all around your surroundings. There’s no shortage of content, there’s no shortage of episodes and messages, regardless of what industry you’re in. Just keep showing up and keep doing it.
Keep It Simple. Stop Looking At What Everybody Else Is Doing
Molly: My biggest piece of advice would be to throw out the scripts and everything of how everybody else is doing it because it confuses mindsets. In the beginning, I was like – Okay, what’s the strategy? How should I do this? I’ve listened to so many other people’s podcasts, where I’m like should do it this way? Then the next week, I’m like, No, I should do it this way.
I was losing my own personality of labor to it. I was so attached to the right way and how to be successful that I say the greatest piece of advice I give to you is if you have to even give yourself a break until you get 10 or 12 episodes under your belly. Don’t listen to anybody else’s podcast. Just get in tunnel vision and record. Just record it, just get super curious, and present with your ideal audience what they want to hear and what you know in your belly, in your intuition, and what they need to hear. Just keep doing it and do it.
In the beginning, I was so calculated. I was so careful not to say anything. And now I’m like, “Alright, you guys aren’t gonna like what I’m going to have to say today but somebody’s got to say it.” And those are the episodes that I’ll get comments, where they’ll come back and say, “Oh, my God, I love that episode?” I often get, “Do you have a camera in my office? How did you know that?” And that’s when you know you’re heading the right message.
Anne: Yes, make it simple. And I love that you said, enjoy the process. Give yourself permission in the beginning.
Molly: Now, I’m writing a book. I’ve written two books before and this process is awful. My creativity feels so forced. And the story I’m telling myself right now is this is way too hard. Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, which I know is not the truth. That’s fear.
So I would say just know in the beginning, you’re not going to like the process. Maybe you will, maybe you’re the lucky one that will love the process. But just keep it simple 10, 15, 20-minute episodes. Do them really short. Just keep doing and keep moving, and then you will find you really truly find your authentic voice, tonality, and cadence. It would be my greatest recommendation. And if you’re having a little bit of fear, for me, I never did video in that beginning at all. I could not look at myself or see myself. It just added a whole other layer to it. So I just would pull up some notes, put them on a Word doc, and just speak into that and read from my notes, which helped tremendously in the beginning.
Anne: Exactly. Just make it simple, see what works for you, and keep going.
How Podcasting Helps Grow Your Business
Anne: So Molly, your podcast is also very linked with your business. What did it do for your business to start that podcast and grow that podcast? And like having 150 episodes on your belt now? Have you gotten new clients or new partnerships or more exposure? Can you tell me more about what the podcast did for your business?
Molly: I love that question. Because it always causes me to really pause and see what it did for my business.
It increases your confidence.
Molly: So I’d say first and foremost, it increased my confidence 10x. I’m very clear on the value that I bring. So what it did for my business, is when I have a conversation with an existing or prospective client or somebody in regards to a referral source or influencer power partner, there’s no question that I am very passionate about what I do. And it’s in my bones. And I thank my podcasts for that.
It helps you create content that nurtures and engages your clients.
Molly: Secondly, because I record my podcasts, I put it out all on social. On Tuesdays, we launch a new episode and then push it out through my database. So all people in my database, get a copy of that. So it gives me a piece of content to nurture and touch my existing database that I would say has been the biggest thing. It’s not about bringing in truckloads and new clients or truckloads of money, but really speaking and listening of my existing and prospective clients that are in that database and referral sources. That has been wonderful because it’s really positioning me as the authority in my industry. So it’s helped me to nurture and to remind my existing and my prospective clients that they should be working with me and only me. So it’s really helped from the lifetime value of a client, in addition to client retention. And so I think that really helps.
It builds authority and establishes you as an expert in your field.
Molly: And then the third thing I would say is that it absolutely helped me with building power partners, people that could be strategic alliances in my industry, that they see me as an authority. They’ll have me on their podcast. They’ll direct their clients to my podcast, and then they reach out and become my clients. It’s really supported me from that place of leverage and optimizing within my referral sources, and is an easy way for me to become an expert.
Anne: I love this answer, especially number two that you said client retention over acquiring new clients. I feel like that is not the standard answer, right? That’s not usually what people talk about on a podcast. When you ask this. They say, “Oh, yeah, tons of new clients. But actually, the maybe less sexy, but even more important thing to talk about is client retention. So I love that you said that is one way that your podcast supports your business.
Measuring Your Podcast’s Success
Molly: I would say that to me is one of the most important things because, honestly, if I’ve gotten a ton of new clients from my podcast per se, maybe, two or three degrees of separation. But if that was my only measuring stick that I was hyper-focused on, I probably would have quit and said, “Why am I doing this thing? It’s not bringing me a new client. Every other podcaster says it’s happening for them. And if that’s your only measuring stick, then you’re going to get really stuck in the weeds and maybe quit too soon.
So my measuring stick for me is just I don’t even look at my numbers. I know that’s terrible to say. But looking before we came on today, you have 21,000 downloads. It’s so far. I don’t know if that’s good. I don’t know if it’s bad. But the fact that 21,000 episodes have been listened to and downloaded. I’m happy with that. If I was measuring it against how much new business did it bring in? If I don’t have an answer, then I would probably be frustrated and possibly quit.
Anne: But it doesn’t matter because you enjoyed the process so much and you have other wins.
Molly: A ton of other wins from referral sources, strategic alliances, and existing clients.
Key Learnings from Podcasting
Anne: Exactly. I love that great answer. So Molly, what would be key learning that you had from the podcast or from podcasting for the past three years that you would like to share with our audience today?
Molly: I think the key learning for me is that if you’re going to be in business, and you’re going to be visible, and digital, which in this day and age, you really have to be pushing Video, Video, Video reels, Tiktoks, whatever they are. I would say the key learning is that in this day and age, we do need to be visible because people connect with your energy and your personality.
One of the things my coach always says is you’re responsible for the energy you leave in every room. That energy could be written email or it can be any type of form of communication, your newsletter, your blog, your pieces, social media content, whatever it might be, that you’re doing to connect with your clients and your referral sources. What would be a better way than for them to hear your tonality, your personality, the stories that you share on your podcast, and for you to be really sharing a piece of you.
Because people buy relationships. People buy connections. If they feel acknowledged, understood, and they feel seen, they will buy from you versus a person that’s running $10,000 a month that Facebook ads or whatever they’re doing, writing all these canned emails that they’re buying.
However, you are your business. And for you to sell your business and to connect with people in a very heartfelt way, I feel like a podcast is the absolute, easiest way people can listen. I listen to them while I cook while I do my laundry, while I walk, and while I drive. Even if there’s a video component, a lot of times I’m not watching the videos. I just really think it is the best way to connect with human beings.
Anne: Exactly. It’s so powerful if people can hear you. As you said, they can hear your voice. You have this long-form content. You can say whatever you want for as long as you want it. If you want it to be an hour fine or good. If you want it to be two hours also fine. You can just take as much time as you need to make your point. It’s not like a Tiktok video that I don’t know, what is the limit for a Tiktok video, like a minute or a minute and a half or whatever. I don’t even know. So yes, that’s awesome!
Molly, thank you so much for sharing your podcast journey with us. I think I had some really good learnings from hearing your story and the transformation that you have gone through your podcast.
Molly: 100%. Honest to God, 100% because of my podcast.
Anne: And I also really love what you share about the wins that your podcast gave you that are not necessarily monetary wins per se, but more the auto end like the networking wins, the client retention wins the expert status that your podcast got you. I think that is really, really good to keep in mind that it’s not always about the money. It can bring so much to your business. When you keep podcasting for a while and you don’t quit when you don’t get to new clients. That is when the real magic happens. I think if you just keep going at it and getting better and better and better at it. Thank you.
Get in Touch with Molly
Anne: Thank you again so much for this interview. Can you share where people can find you on your podcast online?
Molly: Absolutely. The easiest way is to go to our website hiringandempowering.com. You’ll see there’s a podcast tab, there’s a blog. I drop a blog every Thursday. There’s a contact page there as well. So for anyone listening, if you’re struggling, if you liked anything that I said today, or if you would love to just pick my brain, please feel free to reach out to me. We can hop on Zoom and I’d be happy to give back and help in any way I possibly can.
Anne: Awesome. Thank you so much, Molly. This was awesome.
Molly: Thank you!
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