Category: Blog

IC031: Featuring Employees on Your Podcast

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Episode 31

Featuring Employees on Your Podcast

Margy is in the holiday spirit and Jess has some hidden dancing talent. Today’s episode features an interview with Interview Connections client, Tim Cameron-Kitchen.

1. Tim, what do you do in your business?
a. Exposure Ninja is a digital marketing agency

2. Why did you decide to start a podcast?
a. Sharing what they do on podcasts is a great way to get leads

3. Tell us more about what you cover on your show
a. Small and medium sized business owners or marketing managers are their target audience
b. They cover things that will be interesting to this audience
c. Episodes are either Tim interviewing one of his team members or featuring a guest interview with someone who has had serious success in digital marketing

4. What’s the value in bringing on your team members?
a. Exposure Ninja is so big that it’s more than just Tim (he has 60 employees!)
b. Tim’s employees are doing things that even he may not know how to do, so it’s great to be able to feature their expertise
c. It’s also great for clients to get to know the team members who make Exposure Ninja run
d. Tim uses the podcast episodes in his email marketing and social media
e. The episodes that feature employees get the most listeners

5. Does including employees help with employee retention?
a. Not sure
b. Some employees find it intimidating

6. How do you help employees practice?
a. Wing it!
b. Positive (and honest) feedback helps build confidence

7. What was your launch strategy for your podcast?
a. They read Digital Marketer Blog for how to start a podcast
b. Set up four episodes and launched with those
c. People still go back to those original episodes and they are the most popular
d. They made sure the topics for the first episodes would be evergreen
e. Email marketing for new episodes to list
f. Contest for ratings and reviews

8. What benefits have you seen from hosting a podcast?
a. The biggest benefit is the relationship building with current leads
b. The majority of sales are now made to people who love the podcast

9. Do you have any tips for people who want to start a podcast to grow their business?
a. Do it!
b. Quality is important- don’t air episodes that aren’t good
c. Guests with too clear of an agenda can sound stiff

10. What should you NOT do as a guest?
a. Guests who are outside the podcast pool are often best
b. Often authors are too polished and don’t sound as authentic
c. Really listen to the question and think about what the audience actually wants
d. Don’t be generic
e. Ask the host who the audience is and what they care about so you can tailor your message

11. What is your tech set up?
a. Blue Yeti mic
b. ZenCaster

Resources Mentioned:

Digital Marketer Blog for podcast

Blue Yeti


IC030: The Power of Vulnerability with Tanya Conner-Green

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Margy is embracing vulnerability and Jess is feeling grateful! This episode features an interview with our awesome client, Tanya Conner-Green. In this episode we discuss:

  • How does live video help you connect more deeply with your audience?
  • What role does vulnerability play in a successful business?
  • How do online haters affect vulnerability? How do you overcome that?
  • What were Tanya’s biggest struggles starting her business?
  • What are the differences between outward success and true meaning?
  • How do you translate vulnerability into making more money?
  • How do you stand out online?


Resources Mentioned:

How We Hustle Podcast

Tanya Conner-Green

Brene Brown

IC029: Secrets to Managing Employees with Jason Treu

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On today’s episode, we are live from Dallas interviewing our client, Jason Treu. (Excuse the background noise from the Sheraton lobby!) Jason helps successful leaders overcome management and career challenges within their organizations.

1) What are the most common pain points you find with your clients?
a. Most of it stems from early childhood trauma.
b. These traumas are holding them back.
c. Jason helps them change learned behaviors from childhood that are no longer serving his clients.

2) How can managers deal with employee issues that may be personal?
a. You have to get to know people personally to help with their work performance.
b. No one can truly separate work and personal.
c. Conversations about what people really want are important, too.

3) How possible is it for people to overcome traumas that happened during their early, formative years?
a. You can do it quickly. Most things are just a slight shift.
b. People have be willing to change.
c. One person Jason helped was having sales issues, but it turned out to be a deeper reason of shame about her voice. He helped her overcome this, which turned her sales around!

4) What is the balance between being vulnerable and oversharing?
a. You have to understand the moment and the people you are sharing with.
b. People have to earn the right to hear your story.
c. You don’t have to have it all figured out.
d. Find like minded people in your life who you can relate to. That way you don’t have to explain the whole backstory.

5) What are some examples of questions a manager could ask to open up potential blocks?
a. If you are leading, you have to be vulnerable with the people you are leading.
b. Take advantage of ways to be honest about finances, etc.
c. When you meet new people, be honest that you expect performance at a high level but that mistakes are okay.
d. Encourage people to share their ideas before you share yours.
e. Cards Against Mundanity helps people open up and get to know each other as people. It creates psychological safety.
f. You have to create the culture in the company.
g. Psychological safety causes people to be more emotionally invested and work harder.
h. People want to show up and be seen.

6) How can managers show their staff that they are seen?
a. You have to work on yourself first.
b. You can’t deal with tough questions if you can’t deal with your own stuff.
c. Everyone wants to be vulnerable, but only if someone else goes first. The leader has to go first to show they care.
d. Walk around the office every day for 15 minutes and chat with people about their lives. This shows people you care.

7) What are some things leaders can do to work on themselves?
a. Masterminds
b. Coaches
c. Internal self audit
d. Therapy
e. You have to dig down and figure out what’s happening inside of you and what you need.
f. If you don’t deal with your issues, you will have blind spots. Your fears will manipulate what’s going on.
g. Leaders who have done the work won’t allow people who are manipulative and toxic in their environment.

8) Tell us about Cards Against Mundanity
a. Jason was seeking to understand how anyone can create a “Google” workplace.
b. Studies have shown that asking certain questions can cause immediate friendship and bonding.
c. Psychological safety is the only thing they found across every high performing team at Google.
d. Card Against Mundanity creates this same vulnerability which leads to psychological safety.
e. With the card asking the question, people are more comfortable than when another person asks you something.

9) Are there any questions that people refuse to answer?
a. The only person who refused ended up quitting shortly after.
b. People tend to want to be vulnerable because the average person doesn’t have anyone in their lives who they can share with.
c. Loneliness is higher than ever and climbing (40%).
d. Loneliness goes hand in hand with fear and can cause people to lash out.

10) People’s personal lives are part of their work
a. You need to learn about people’s lives and goals.
b. Helping employees through the process of moving forward personally and professionally is what leads to success in business.
c. Unhappy employees can affect your company’s productivity.
d. Modern workplace
e. People want to feel fulfilled in their work.
f. Psychological safety can help people feel fulfilled.
g. People make what they spend, so no matter what they have, they always feel like they need more.
h. A lot of times outside success doesn’t mean people feel fulfilled inside. Even billionaires want more if they aren’t happy and fulfilled.

11) Great leaders are self aware
a. Your blind spots as a leader cascade into the business.
b. Your business is always being held back by you.

12) What type of help do you need as a business owner?
a. You have to find people who can help with your business and with you emotionally.
b. Most coaches are too focused on the external.
c. The internal hurdles are what is really stopping your success.
d. Some people need a therapist, but a lot of people can just use a coach who can point out internal barriers quickly so they can be addressed.
e. Coaching can be faster than therapy if you don’t need long term help.

13) The main reason people work hard?
a. They don’t want to disappoint the other person.
b. They care about the leader.
c. This is why psychological safety creates harder working employees.

Resources Mentioned:

Jason Treu

Cards Against Mundanity

Arthur Aaron study on making fast friends

Creating Disney Magic Podcast

How We Got Our Client 100k Views Overnight

We get asked by a lot of people if we can get them on BIG shows. The answer is… maybe. The first requirement is that YOU must be a great fit for those shows. We can hustle to find the biggest shows, write the best pitch in the world, and get you a meeting with the producer, but if you fail to sell yourself as a great guest when you meet that producer, no agency can help you. Confidence is everything when you are a guest expert on podcasts or any media outlet.

I recently booked our client Jen Briney on The Young Turks network (which has 3.4 million subscribers on YouTube) Her episode had over 100,000 views overnight! Let’s go over how I made this interview happen:

1.) I did the work

  • I found out WHO the pitch should go to. The best pitch to the wrong person won’t result in a booking.
  • Here at Interview Connections, we have relationships with thousands of hosts and producers who trust us and are willing to do a warm intro for us to a big show when we want to pitch our client to them.
  • Next, I follow up consistently and respectfully until I get a reply.

2.) Pre-interview meeting with the producers

  • The biggest shows on Apple Podcasts and YouTube are very strict with who they have on their show. If these shows are going to take a guest from a pitch, they will almost always have a pre-interview meeting to make sure it’s a good fit. If you have the opportunity to do a pre interview call or in person meeting with a big show, take it!
  • Instead of trying to get a yes right from the initial pitch, I first suggest a meeting over coffee. Essentially, I want to open the door to a conversation with my client and the producer because I know, once they meet, the interview will naturally fall into place.
  • As Booking Agents, we can book you on a lot of great shows. The biggest shows, however, require some work from you too! Having a meeting with the producer yourself to seal the deal is key.

3.) Be willing to travel to the show

  • Most podcasts are recorded remotely, which quite frankly, is part of the appeal! No travel but great exposure! Well, for shows with a huge audience, being willing to travel to their studio is often necessary.

If you are interested in working with Interview Connections to get booked on big shows in your niche, apply here! A member of our team will contact you to set up a call and see if we’re a good fit.

My Microphone Recommendations

I don’t get too techy very often on this blog because I’m all about the relationships and valuable content in podcasting. The type of microphone you use does not make or break your show. But I know many of you who follow my blog would appreciate knowing my recommendations so here goes…


Let’s start with microphones. The kind of mic you use will depend on the space in which you record. If the acoustics of your room stinks; you have hard wood floors, a lot of empty space, perhaps co workers near by, do not buy a condenser microphone. A lot of the top podcasts use condenser microphones, like the Blue Yeti and the problem is it picks up a ton of background noise. If you’re using the Blue Yeti and aren’t thrilled with the sound, jump over and use my first recommendation: the ATR 2100. You can use this mic with a mixer or plug it in via USB. I’ve used this mic in the past, and Heather Havenwood uses this mic on her show, The Win.

My podcast, The Podcast Producers is sponsored by Shure Microphones. I recommend the Shure MVL Lavalier microphone for videos that you record on your iPhone. The sound is amazing – even with a ton of wind outside like in this video!

The Shure MV51 is a great condenser microphone that is good for in person interviews. It’s also great for people who aren’t used to speaking into a mic because you don’t have to be right in front of it; with Dynamic microphones, like the ATR 2100, you should speak into the mic about 2 inches from it.

If you want some more techy info, check out this blog post! micro-1494436_1920

When Can I Get Sponsors?

The right time to get sponsors for your podcast is as soon as you have a clearly defined audience that another business would find value in advertising to! It can be before you launch with no listeners yet, like LuAnn Nigara did with A Well Designed Business, it can be 3-6 months after you launch with 12 listeners, like Glenn The Geek did with Horse Radio Network, or several years after launch with 20,000+ downloads an episode like Jason Cabassi at The Walking Dead Cast.

If you want to approach a business and successfully secure them as a sponsor for your show, keep in mind the following:

  • Be very clear about who your target audience is and make sure your content supports that. For example, my target audience is podcasters and people interested in being a guest on podcasts, so I focus my episodes on topics related to podcasters and being a podcast guest expert.
  • Identify businesses that have services or products that your target audience wants and needs.
  • Reach out to those businesses with a pitch!

The CPM Model

A lot of the major podcasts on iTunes use a company called Midroll to acquire sponsors. However, Midroll does have pretty high standards. You should have at least 15,000 downloads per episode, if not more, to be considered for their service. Even if you do not use their service, if you use the old “CPM” model which means cost per thousand downloads, you need a pretty large audience to make a good income from your show. A lot of shows make $25 per thousand downloads. If I used this model, I wouldn’t make very much money directly from my podcast!

The Media Kit

It is probably a good idea to have a media kit that shows potential sponsors your audience size, history of the show, your rates, audience demographics, etc. but I don’t think it’s completely necessary. If you approach businesses that you know and most importantly businesses that know you, a friendly email and phone call broaching the subject can result in a very successful sale!

What You Really Need

I see podcasters posting in Facebook groups all the time about getting sponsors. “How do I do it?” “Do they approach me or do I approach them?” etc. etc. You know what it really takes to get sponsors? SALES.


If you believe in your heart and in your gut that advertising on your podcast would bring new clients and customers to a potential sponsor’s business, you owe it to that business to tell them how amazing of an opportunity it would be to sponsor your show! A lot of podcasters and entrepreneurs, quite frankly, have a sh*tty sales mindset. You are unconfident and weak and you’re waiting for sales to come to you. You need to go to them. I did a video recently about your sales mindset, check it out here.

Take These Steps

  1. Write a clear description of who your listeners are.
  2. Write what their pain points are; what products or services they need right now.
  3. Come up with a list of businesses who provide those services and products, specifically businesses owned by people who KNOW YOU.
  4. Email them!!!

My Gift For You

Get my book, Interview Connections: How to #RockThePodcast from Both Sides of the Mic for free at to see the exact email I wrote to get my first sponsor on The Podcast Producers.

Behind Every Great Guest…

Is a great host!

You know that saying “Behind every great man is a great woman”? While I hate that saying because it’s pretty sexist, it helped me come up with the answer to the question “What makes a great guest?”

Behind every great guest is a great host!

Great podcast guests will:

  1. be easy to work with
  2. provide a ton of valuable content
  3. listen to the podcast before recording their interview
  4. make the host look good
  5. be generous in promoting the interview

All 5 of those things are great and podcasters will appreciate guests who do all of those things. That being said, the most important thing a guest needs to be GREAT is….

a great host!

I have been interviewed hundreds of times over the years and to this day, when I feel like my ‘performance’ on a podcast isn’t great, it is usually because the host was not a great interviewer. If you, as a podcast host, feel like your guests aren’t great, look at your own interviewing skills and see how you can improve. I’m telling you, a really good interviewer can make even the worst guest sound good.

David Ralph, host of Join Up Dots is a terrific example. He has high energy and he doesn’t restrict himself to a show flow. To learn how to be a better interviewer, listen to my interview with him here! As someone reading my blog, I understand you may night like listening to podcasts. That’s okay. I have great show notes so visit the post and learn his tips!

Feminist Company Values

The Backstory

Lobbying a US Senator on Safe Chemicals
Lobbying a US Senator on Safe Chemicals

When I left my non profit activist job in 2013 to start my business and work from home with my newborn baby, I thought in a way that I was going ‘to the dark side’ – the for profit world! Suddenly, I went from having a job where my

The early days of starting a business
The early days of starting a business

goal was to fight for the environment, to starting a business where my job was to make money.

As a new mom, that wasn’t a challenge because I had this new baby to support. Now that that newborn is almost 4 years

old and I have two kids, I find myself searching for a way to give back. I’m eager to let ‘activist Jess’ back out and make my business mean something more than earning money for my family.


On Saturday, January 21st, my family and I participated in the Women’s March while we were traveling in Chicago. I’ve always been a feminist, ever since my parent’s played the Country radio station in the car when I was little and I hated that the DJ’s played more men than women. As a business owner, I rarely talk about anything political because I don’t want to offend anyone or repel potential clients who have opposing view points. 

On Tuesday, January 24th, I felt compelled to share this on Facebook:

It was shared 3 times, I got dozens of thumbs up and multiple supportive comments! I even received this message from an old client:


The response I got on Facebook from sharing openly my values of feminism and female empowerment gave me the confidence to write more here about my mission for my business.


Our mission is to bring entrepreneurs together for podcast interviews and create meaningful employment opportunities for working mothers and women

When you work with Interview Connections and support us in any way, you are supporting a company owned by a working mother and run by women, mothers and one cool dude named David!

Curious about who some of our team members are? Check out some of their words below!

Team Call


I am a busy lady! Normally, I try to squeeze a few extra hours out of every day. I have yet to be successful. Working with Jessica and Interview Connections has allowed me the flexibility to rearrange my work day so I can fit all of those things that make me busy (producing & hosting my podcast Great Beer Adventure, being an engineer on a local radio show, planning a large event for my show, designing a beer themed activity book, just to name a few) into the typical work day so that I can focus on being with my kids when they are home! – Amanda

I enjoy working for Interview Connections because as a missionary serving in an exotic land I can still balance living my personal dream and passion with an online career giving me the opportunity to pay it back by introducing successful clients to great hosts of amazing shows where they can speak their passion to the masses as they also live their dream and get the exposure they need to continue being successful. This makes for a very fulfilling life for me  and I consider Jessica and this company an answer to a very sincere prayer so that I can stay in this voluntary assignment. -David
I love working for Interview Connections because I love working for an employer who shares my ideals! I’m appreciative of the flexible work hours this job provides, and quite frankly, I love the work! How cool is it to listen to podcasts for a job!?! It’s nice to be a part of a well-organized, team-oriented organization, with stellar communication skills (and a deep affection for cats). – Emma
I love working for Interview Connections because I can have it all, work from home while raising my two small children, and work with likeminded people. Jessica isn’t a typical boss which is great, she checks in on you and is more of a mentor and makes sure you have the tools to get the job done. The team at IC is unmatchable, everyone pitches in to help and always has each others backs, there is no better place to work. -Emily
I love working for Internet Connections – the work is interesting and purposeful.   Jessica is one of the most inspiring “bosses” I have ever had. There is a true sense of team, and we are encouraged to rely on our creativity and resourcefulness to get the job done.  The ability to work anytime, anywhere, encourages a seamless integration from work to life and back again. Best of all, I am home with my 9 horses- and have the flexibility to ride and play and still meet the needs of my assigned clients.  (oh and the clients are AWESOME)- Denise
Can’t wait to work with our amazing team!? Get started today – Visit to get booked as a guest expert or visit if you need guests for YOUR podcast!

Reviews vs. Word of Mouth

I co-host a podcast called The Podcast Producers with Corey Coates. We are in pre-production for Season 3 which is scheduled to launch on June 1, 2017. The focus this season is on the listener; the people who are consuming the podcasts, not those producing them. You can learn so much more about how to produce a better show and grow your audience if you turn outwards, and ask your listeners for feedback!

I was recently in New York City and took the opportunity to interview podcast listeners I met on the train, subway and in breweries.

Here the three questions I asked, and the answers I got:

How do you find new podcasts to listen to? 

  • Recommendations from friends
  • Searching for topics of interest

When do you decide to subscribe to a show? 

  • Right away and if they don’t like the show, they just never listen / delete it 

Do you ever leave ratings and reviews? 

  • Never

I listen to a lot of podcasts and hang out with a lot of podcasters and without a doubt the thing podcasters are asking their listeners to do the most is:

Subscribe, rate & review my show in iTunes!

Are you asking your listeners to do these three things? If so, why?

More importantly, how is rating and reviewing your podcast going to bring value to the listener?

It doesn’t. It is a FAVOR to you, the host.

Who do you do favors for? I do favors for my friends, family, people who are down on their luck and need a helping hand. I do favors for people who have provided value to me; people who have helped me and who I feel like I owe them something in return.

Tweet this!

If you want listeners to rate & review your show in iTunes, provide value first! #RockThePodcast @JessRhodesBiz

Corey and I will be gathering a lot more feedback from listeners all over the country so my observations are sure to evolve but for now, based on a few valuable conversations I had in New York City, my biggest tip for you is to focus on providing value to your listeners first and foremost, and when you do give them a call to action (which should be at the END of the show, AFTER you’ve provided said value), ask them to tell a friend!

How to increase that word of mouth advertising…

Word of mouth advertising is by far the most effective form of marketing. Getting interviewed on podcasts in your niche will grow your audience because listeners of those shows are likely to also subscribe to your podcast. My company, Interview Connections® can get you booked as a guest expert on podcasts!

Learn more at and apply to work with us today!

Podcasting Longevity

It’s difficult to keep podcasting after three to six months when it seems like you’re not seeing an ROI and no one from your audience is engaging with you. But it takes a long time to see that ROI so how do you stick with it? Here are my top tips:

You have to love it.

While it is important to have a podcast avatar, for me to continue podcasting, I must personally be interested in the show. If you love the topic that you’re podcasting about, you won’t have trouble keeping your show going for a long time. Most people quit their show because it either falls too low on their priority list, or they are not interested enough in the topic of the show. If you’re not into the show anymore, change up the focus of the podcast.

You have to make it a priority.

Look around at all the successful entrepreneurs and marketers who have big followings and are interviewed all the time on podcasts. Most of them are marketing their businesses by podcasting, blogging, doing videos, writing books, speaking, and going to conferences. In short, they are hustling and doing the hard work it takes to grow a successful business. They know that not every marketing tactic will result in a lot of direct sales, but like ingredients in a soup, it’s all necessary for the best outcome.

My coach, Jim Palmer, shared a powerful comment to our mastermind group. Before he started hosting live events to grow his coaching business, a mentor asked him, “What makes you think you deserve the same level of success as other people when you’re not willing to do the work they’re doing?”

Do you need guests for your podcast? Learn how we can help at Interview Connections!