Hey there, podcast fans! We recently launched a new podcast of our very own, Buffer CultureLab!
We’d love for you to check it out and share any thoughts, feedback or ideas with us! You can listen on iTunes here or Google Play here. ? OK, now back to the post!
As someone who’s motivated by self-improvement and achieving more, I’m constantly trying to learn as much as I can.
Books are naturally one of my main go-to sources of knowledge. But there’s also a wealth of information to be consumed in the awesome world of podcasts. For digital marketers in particular, there are tons of great marketing podcasts out there, each with their own ideas to try and lessons to learn.
And. All this information is completely free!
Listed below are my 7 favorite marketing podcasts and the lessons they’ve taught me. If you have a favorite one that’s not listed here, I’d love to hear about it!
7 Top Marketing Podcasts and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me
Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned have come from podcasts.
Rather than just list out my favorite podcasts, I thought it might be a great chance to share some gratitude for what these podcasts have given me: Valuable lessons in digital marketing.
Interestingly, these new ideas and lessons aren’t always presented in one easy to listen to episode. Sometimes the lessons learned might come from listening to a show for a while and identifying the common themes or ideas that the hosts keep bringing up. Today I’m going to sum up the main lessons I’ve learned while listening to some top podcasts.
How I listen to podcasts
If you don’t think you have time to listen to podcasts, then think again! Podcasts are great to listen to while you’re in the car, on the bus, at the gym or going for a walk.
I use the Podcasts app for iPhone when I’m on the go and the Apple TV at home. In addition you might try some of the following apps that are great with podcasts (many are available for Android also):
Aside from smartphone apps, you can often listen to podcasts from the web via a podcast player on the host’s website or via Soundcloud. This is also great when tuning in to podcasts while you work.
Okay, without further adieu, here’s my list of favorite marketing podcasts!
1. The Fizzle Show
My favorite lesson: Knowing Your Audience
From the founders of Fizzle.co, The Fizzle Show is a podcast for online entrepreneurs that brings you lessons about building your audience, creating a valuable product or service and starting a business that matters. It’s also an incredibly funny show and hosts Chase, Corbett and Barrett are hilarious.
The biggest lesson I’ve been able to take away from The Fizzle Show is this: know your audience better than they know themselves.
In other words, in order to succeed you need to understand the deep emotional problems your audience faces. This will inform the creation of your product or service and ultimately determine how you’re going to convince people to spend money on what you have. It’s also going to play a crucial role in how you communicate to your audience. You need to understand how to talk to your potential customers and what language to use. This only comes through having a deep understanding of your audience, their needs, problems and aspirations.
This last part is really important – when Chase Reeves introduces the show, he usually says something along the lines of:
“Welcome to the Fizzle Show where every Friday we publish another conversation about entrepreneurship in general, building a thriving audience, and the battle of supporting yourself doing something you actually care about.”
This really speaks to me personally. As I’m building my own website that helps people to be more productive, I’m wrestling with these challenges. When Chase introduces the show like this I feel like it was made specifically for me. That’s how you need to make your audience feel.
Here are some of my favorite episodes from The Fizzle Show:
- 10 Business Archetypes: How to Choose a Business Model That Makes Sense (and Money, FS091)
- 27 Ways to Stumble on Unbeatable Content Ideas (FS088)
- Top 10 Mistakes in Starting an Online Business (FS080)
- 5 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Site (Plus SEO Insights, FS057)
Also, if interested, you can check out the Fizzle “Small Business Roadmap” for an outline of the main steps to starting and growing your online business:
- Finally! A Roadmap for the 6 Stages of Small Business (FS100)
- Connection: Stage 2 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS101)
- Planning: Stage 3 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS102)
- Build: Stage 4 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS103)
- Money: Stage 5 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS104)
- Scale: Stage 6 of 6 on the Small Business Roadmap (FS105)
My favorite lesson: Testing Your Assumptions
From the creators of the top lead generation service Lead Pages, ConversionCast is a digital marketer’s paradise and is packed with useful examples of how different websites and marketers have optimized their conversion rates to grow their email lists, website traffic, user trials, customer signups, social shares and more!
These episodes are nice and short, usually about 15 minutes in length. It’s a great place for inspiration and picking up new ideas of things to optimize and test across your website.
Each episode features a guest who has successful “moved the needle” on some key metric.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from ConversionCast is this; TEST, TEST, TEST!
While the show gives you some awesome examples of how to optimize your key performance indicators (KPIs),] it’s vital to test these ideas with your own audience. What works for one person or website may not work for you.
Instead, ConversionCast recommends you apply the Lean Startup methodology:
- Come up with a hypothesis (i.e. an idea of something you’d like to test).
- Use customer cohorts or split-test this change to validate your hypothesis.
- Measure the results using actionable metrics.
- Based on the results you can persevere with your strategy or pivot and try something else.
Here are some of the more notable and popular episodes of ConversionCast:
- From Heyo: Six Simple Steps To Dominate on Facebook — Including How They Generated 862 Leads & 2,000 Fans
- What it Took for Ezra Firestone to Triple His Conversion Rate On A High Ticket Offer Overnight
- How Ryan Levesque Generated Over 2.8 Million Leads & 175,000 Customers In Less Than 2 Years
- For AWeber: This Small Copy Change Boosted Conversion Rates By 13.5% (In Just Two Weeks)
- Flowers Across Melbourne: Can Great Copywriting Be Bad For Business?
3. The Smart Passive Income Podcast
My favorite lesson: “The Riches Are in the Niches”
I love this saying and it’s so true. Pat Flynn, host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast often talks about the importance solving specific problems within some niche that you’re part of.
The great thing about the Smart Passive Income Podcast is that Pat is actually doing and testing the things that he’s talking about.
He calls himself an “online marketing guinea pig” and puts everything he learns to the test so that he can share the results with us. Pat has built a highly successful blog, podcast and now YouTube channel and is a great example of how to execute content marketing effectively.
On the Smart Passive Income Podcast Pat interviews guests, all the way from Tim Ferriss and Michael Hyatt to young entrepreneurs who have only just started to get noticed. He’s great at putting a spotlight on everyday people and showing how anyone can build a successful business.
Some of the success stories coming from the Smart Passive Income Podcast are really inspiring and it’s amazing to see what kind of niches people are able to squeeze themselves into. It just goes to show that great marketing is all about identifying a specific audience and filling their needs like no one else can or has.
Some of my favorite Smart Passive Income Podcast episodes include:
- SPI 145: How to Become a Contributing Writer on Large Media Sites — From Bread Delivery to Content Delivery with Kimanzi Constable
- SPI 143: Actionable Email Marketing Strategies and How to 3X Revenue Using Your Autoresponder with Steve Chou
- SPI 133 : Gary Vaynerchuk on “Right Hooks”, Physical Products, Book Publishing, App Marketing and More
- SPI 116 : Copywriting Tips and Formulas with Kevin Rogers
- SPI 051 : Tim Ferriss on Promotion from Scratch, Accelerated Learning, Experiments Gone Wrong, Publishing and More
4. The #AskGaryVee Show
My favorite lesson: The Changing Social Media Landscape
If you want to keep up with the fast changing landscape of social media then The #AskGaryVee Show should be top of your list.
Entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuck has been running his creative agency, Vaynermedia, since early 2009 with a focus on social media and digital advertising.
The Vaynermedia team publish a couple of podcasts episodes per week. Where they’re being really smart with their content marketing is that they actually film the show and extract the audio to produce the podcast. Talk about two birds with one stone; this is a great example of how to be more productive with your content marketing (let’s call it a bonus lesson).
Gary has been in the social media game for a long-time. He started his YouTube channel, Wine Library TV, to promote his wine business in 2006, just one year after YouTube was created. Gary is completely up to date with the latest social media trends and best practices. As we know, Facebook’s algorithm is constantly changing, the social media space is becoming increasingly competitive and engaging with your audience can be a challenge. Gary and his team are constantly testing new social media strategies to find out what works and of course they share the findings via the podcast.
It amazes me how knowledgable Gary and his team are about social media and how much they’re always testing and experimenting with new post types or platforms. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from the show is to adopt this mindset and react fast to social media changes. Often huge benefits can be had by getting on to a growing platform early when there’s less competition.
Always be on the lookout because the next big social network or other adopter opportunity could be just around the corner.
Each episode of The #AskGaryVee Show is packed with useful advice in a Q&A format, but I love the Gary Vaynerchuk originals that have been produced recently:
- The Importance of Self Awareness
- The Straight Road to Success
- A Keynote: Entrepreneurship Can’t be Taught
- [Bonus Track] Part of the Equation
- How to Win in 2015: New Year’s Motivation
5. The Suitcase Entrepreneur
My favorite lesson: Finding Your WHY
Natalie Sisson, also known as The Suitcase Entrepreneur, runs her business and podcast on the go while she travels around the world having awesome adventures.
Natalie’s podcast discusses online marketing, business and entrepreneurship. The show is a mix of interviews with successful online entrepreneurs and her “Fresh in 15” episodes which are shorter-form and are used to bring you quick tidbits of information.
The message I’m constantly hearing from the The Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcast is to do something you care about and find your WHY. It’s so important not just for individuals, but for businesses as well to find their WHY; their purpose or reason for being.
Your WHY is what separates you from your competition. It’s why your audience buy from you and it’s why they’re going to share your story with their friends. Finding and communicating your WHY is crucial as it’s what allows you to attract the ideal customer.
For more information about the importance of your WHY, check out this must-watch TED Talk by Simon Sinek.
Here are some of the best Suitcase Entrepreneur interviews and episodes:
- [TSE 154] How to Build a Social Media Business by Being the Go-To Girl with Natalie Cutler-Welsh
- [TSE 140] How to Optimize Your Blog Sales Funnel with Yaro Starak
- [TSE 129] The Power of Blogging and How You Can Profit from It
Being Transparent with Your Audience
Gimlet Media is a new podcasting company that produces high quality narrative based podcast shows. StartUp was their first podcast and follows the story of CEO Alex Blumberg and his team as they wrestle with the challenges of starting up a new company.
This podcast is like nothing I’ve ever listened to; they’re telling and narrating their story as it’s actually happening. The show cuts between interviews with investors to awkward conversations with Alex’s wife to voice overs where Alex explains everything that’s happening.
Usually we only get to hear about a startup once it has become semi-successful. As the show says in the intro, the podcast shows you the side of startups that no one usually sees; those early days when it’s all trying to get this thing off the ground when you have no idea if you’re going to succeed.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned from the show is the importance of transparency.
While producing this podcast Alex has to be completely transparent with his wife, his co-founder, his team and of course us, the audience. Everyone can see (or hear) what’s happening the entire time and there’s no hiding anywhere. This of course contributes to the brilliance of the story. I’ve learned that people really appreciate transparency.
As a member of the audience listening to this show I really appreciate that the show hasn’t been sugarcoated to give a certain perception of the company. It’s all just raw conversations between employees about real challenges and concerns.
Every episode of StartUp is really insightful. If you want to get started with this show, check out episode one here:
- #1 How Not to Pitch a Billionaire
Or you can start with season 2 which follows the story of two female entrepreneurs:
- Origin Story (Season 2, #1)
7. The Tim Ferriss Show
My favorite lesson: Constant Learning
Best-selling author, entrepreneur and investor Tim Ferriss hosts The Tim Ferriss Show and interviews world-class performers in order to deconstruct what it is that they do to become so successful.
Tim is the author of three best-selling books; The 4-Hour Work Week, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. His writing focuses on deconstructing a topic to find out what the “minimum effective dose” is for achieving a goal, whether that’s building a business, sculpting the perfect body or accelerating your learning.
Tim has interviewed awesome guests like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins, Peter Thiel and Ramit Sethi. While the range of topics and skills these interviews cover is wide, one of my biggest takeaways from the show is the importance of constant learning. These world-class performers are constantly trying to improve their skills and never stop learning.
One of the common questions Tim likes to ask is “what book have you gifted to people more than any other?” or just “what are your favorite books?”. Books are an excellent source of knowledge and reading is one of the most common traits among these high-performers. These people have a thirst for knowledge and even though they’re at the top of their game, they’re constantly trying to learn more every single day.
And if they can, so can you!
Here are the standout episodes from the Tim Ferriss Show which are particularly good for marketers:
- Ramit Sethi on Persuasion and Turning a Blog Into a Multi-Million-Dollar Business
- The Unusual Books That Shaped Billionaires, Mega-Bestselling Authors, and Other Prodigies
- How Facebook’s #30 Employee Quickly Built 4 Businesses and Gained 40 Pounds with Weight Training
- Maria Popova on Writing, Workflow, and Workarounds
- The Tim Ferriss Show: Interview with Peter Thiel, Billionaire Investor and Company Creator
Other Podcasts to Check Out
- Seth Godin’s Startup School by Seth Godin. This podcast is a series of talks by author and entrepreneur Seth Godin as he guides 30 entrepreneurs through a startup workshop.
- The Productivityist Podcast by Mike Vardy. This is another favourite of mine. Mike’s podcast is a great source of productivity tips that help you get more done.
- Entrepreneur On Fire by John Lee Dumas. Hear the success stories of successful entrepreneurs with this top business podcast. Perfect for all your entrepreneurial types.
I highly recommend each and every one of these podcasts. They’re all brilliant in their own right and you won’t regret taking the time to listen to the shows.
I’m always on the lookout for more great shows, so tell us; what are your favorite podcasts? Let us know in the comments below!
Image sources: Pablo, Unsplash, IconFinder, Lean Startup