The year was 2014. Frozen was all the rage, and the ALS #icebucketchallenge was dominating YouTube and social feeds everywhere.
It was also the year Dave Gerhardt, now CMO of Privy, launched his first-ever podcast. And what began as a fun side project eventually led to a full career and a lifelong passion for authentic conversations.
2014 wasn’t all that long ago. Yet, in just six short years, a lot has changed for Dave — and for the world of podcasting. Now Dave shares a handful of “golden nuggets” he’s collected through his tenure for newbie podcasters looking for inspiration from one of the industry’s pioneers.
1. “Stop making excuses.”
Dave started listening to podcasts on his evening commutes home. He began listening to a West Coast-based show called This Week In Startups when it dawned on him: why hadn’t anyone started a podcast about entrepreneurs in Boston, where he called home? The response from friends and co-workers? Just do it.
Dave figured out how to start a podcast, sell sponsorships, and edit audio. And 60 episodes later, he had an email subscriber list of about 4,500 people.
“It didn’t feel like a podcast. It felt like I built a little mini business.”
Takeaway: Do the things. Make it happen. Take charge of your own destiny.
2. “If you could get thousands of your dream customers to listen to you, would you do it?”
The first podcast’s success helped Dave land a role at HubSpot, where he helped launch the company’s uber-successful podcast The Growth Show. From there, he moved to Drift to work with the company’s founder and CEO David Cancel. David was a goldmine of relevant marketing content. The trick was just getting it out of him.
Dave began interviewing the CEO with the goal of eventually turning the content into ghostwritten blogs. But David was more interested in a conversation — and before long, a new podcast was born.
“It morphed into this really cool conversation about these two people at completely different ends of the career spectrum,” says Dave. “We ended up turning it into a podcast called Seeking Wisdom.”
Within just a year and a half, Dave had launched three different successful podcasts, forming a huge part of his professional brand.
“If 20 years ago, somebody said you could have your own radio station, and you wouldn’t have to pay much to do it...would you?” asks Dave. “People still don’t seem to [realize] that when they think of podcasting.”
Takeaway: Podcasts put the world at your feet for a much lower cost than other marketing channels. Seize the opportunity!
3. “It’s such an intimate marketing channel. I don’t know how many other marketing channels have that opportunity.”
For Dave, podcasting is more accessible, intimate, and versatile than any other channel. It’s the ultimate multi-tasking dream, enabling listeners to engage while working out, mowing the lawn, or cleaning the house. Subscribers can also listen in whenever they want instead of signing in at a specific time, creating on-demand content that puts the listener in control.
More than that, Dave believes it’s a niche medium that allows storytellers to go deeper on unique topics and build connection like never before.
“You can just be yourself and turn on the mic,” he says. “If you have something interesting to say to even five people, it could become a podcast. You could have a loyal, passionate following because of the nature of the marketing channel.”
Takeaway: Podcasts allow you to go deep, both in content and relationship-building.
4. “If marketing isn’t fun, you’re never going to be any good at it.”
Talking and hosting a podcast has been a dream for the CMO. But he’s still aware that his interview-led style may be different from other podcasts’ storytelling techniques — and that’s ok.
“It’s not about me,” says Dave. “The interview format is a little more natural to me, and it’s made for an easy format.”
Still, he’s open to creativity, recognizing that even the best marketing channels have evolved. But for now, he’s loving his very own rhythm and style.
Takeaway: Don’t let podcasting become a chore. Embrace what comes naturally.
5. “Show up” and “stack the deck.”
Don’t expect overnight success. Instead of worrying about the metrics in the beginning of your podcast, stack the deck with as much content as you can and let it simmer. Dave points to YouTuber Casey Neistat, who made videos for decades before his channel took off. Sometimes you have to produce 20, 50, or even 100 episodes before audiences start taking notice. But the effort will pay off in the end.
“You have to just put your head down, go, and commit to doing it,” he says. “Show up every [day.]”
Dave asserts that podcasting is a lot easier than marketing channels back in the day. With mini computers in our pockets, hitting record is easy (albeit elementary in terms of audio). But even Dave uses this method when recording podcasts for his private group of marketers.
“People love it because it’s for them. I can’t do that with strangers.”
Takeaway: Focus on the content, not the metrics. Then, create it however and whenever you can.
Still teetering on starting a podcast? From being an early listener on his ride home to leading marketing for a major tech company, Dave testifies to the power of podcasting. And there’s a lot more where these golden nuggets came from! Listen to the full podcast with Dave Gerhardt for expert tips on where podcasting falls in marketing strategy and his ideas for pairing events with same-day podcast content.
At Casted, we love podcasts as much as the people who work hard to create them. Our job is to take your amazing content and help you turn it into marketing magic. With tools to help you activate your show and deeper metrics than just downloads, our B2B podcasting platform gives you a launching point to flip your content from a simple conversation to authentic thought leadership. Drop us a note to see a quick demo or chat about how we can help optimize your podcast.