The 4am Report podcast has done nearly 150 episodes in a co host model. And we think 150 is a good time to switch things up a little bit. So after Episode 150, we’ll be moving to a news-based format, leaning all the way into our Thirst for what’s new and happening in the marketing and entertainment space, and what we can learn from that.
We will be continuing the co-host format. Different co-hosts who love dishing the news and their opinions on it will join Susan on a Live recording on LinkedIn and YouTube each week. And that recording will be made into a podcast the following morning (yes! We like to show off. We are a podcasting agency, after all. Feel free to set much more reasonable deadlines for yourself though. In fact we advice it.)
So on to extolling the virtues of a co-host format. Susan Diaz and Will Lamont have been the resident co-hosts of The 4am Report. Typical episodes were either both of them with a guest, or the two of them presenting marketing advice in a teaching format.
The draw is in the conversation
As podcasters, we listen to a lot of podcasts (obvi). And our favorite ones are usually the conversational ones. Yes, we do listen sometimes to the host interviewing a single guest, and the back and forth. But we’ll be honest! We feel that that’s been done to death and we’re almost tired of that format.
So we got together to deliver five lessons to take away on co-hosting.
Susan, what I really like is the conversational act of that type of podcast, whether it’s a couple people as a panel, or like we have two to two co hosts. So you can play off each other. Sometimes it goes in a different direction, which is always fun for the audience to so I really do stand behind this idea of at least a co host kind of model.
1. There’s transformative energy and good ju-ju in having a wing(wo)man
In 2019, when we started having a wingman was a straight up mindset need. It’s so much easier to go out and perform in a public-facing forum like a podcast, and put out an opinion, when someone smart and articulate is with you. It gives you a layer of safety and comfort. Once we settled into podcasting, having a wingperson still brought a great deal of energy. It’s the difference between thinking by yourself versus brainstorming with someone. It’s a whole other level! That could be partly to do with who we are as people – we do feed off of the brainstorm format! In general though, the energy of having someone give you feedback as you speak, ron a tactical level, like putting yourselves on a video chat, does a lot for the energy of the podcast for the listener (Side note: Whether or not you use the video is secondary. Just being able to see the other person’s reactions helps. So always keep the video on.)
2. Having a co-host bring different strengths to the table
Different co-host bring different things to a podcast. (Yes, this is kind of a no-brainer. But it really is so true!)
Will is much better at asking deep insightful questions of guests and Susan is really good at thinking on her feet and riffing in the moment. When we’re coming up with episode ideas, Susan can right away, see a topic and shape it out. Will likes a bit more fleshing out of points ahead. The combination of bringing different skill sets to the podcasting process is truly exponential. We all learned things from each other. As we’ve recorded, both of our styles have changed and morphed a little bit. We’ve learned from watching each other. And that is super fun. We truly believe you grow more when you do have someone podcasting with you.
From a larger enterprise perspective, the co-host or panel format is a way to break down silos. If it’s two different disciplines, or strategy and execution – it’s worth exploring.
Hot tip: become a podcast host folks, and you learn how to think on your feet. You’ll also learn why it’s important to have a good audio editor in case you flub!!
3. Co-hosting is, makes you lot braver as a publisher
Especially when we were discussing topics of great gravitas, whether it was politics or reconciliation, or other things that are way out of our comfort zones, perhaps if we were individual hosts, we would have had no comment on any of it. We would have said, “What do I know”. Having a co-host made us braver. We felt a responsibility as podcast hosts to articulate our thoughts as it relates to our frame of reference.
The first time we decided to go away from talking only about marketing was a fateful week in 2019 when Prime Minister Trudeau had a blackface scandal. We were really nervous about it. After that, it’s not that the conversations got easier, (they shouldn’t get easier as far as preparation goes) but what we learned is that those conversations need to be had, it’s part of our job as communicators to shine light on them. And it’s okay, if you make a misstep, as long as you know how to apologize and recognize that you made a misstep.
And from coming out and saying some of the stuff around those subjects, it put out a signal to our existing clients and prospects about crisis communication, and the need to have messaging prepared for those things in the 2020s.
4. Co-hosts bring a wider network
The more hosts your podcast has, the wider your network. We talk about this in a panel context, often, and it’s certainly true in a co-host context. You access the network of more than one person. So when you put material out on LinkedIn, or whether you’re looking for guests that you’re going to reach out to – you can access a wider, wider pool of people.
5. Having a co-host brings a lot more accountability
On days when you’re really busy and in the weeds, it’s really easy to postpone, cancel or reschedule podcasting. But when you have that co-host there, you hold each other accountable. A huge element of consistency comes out of it. It’s becomes a system that’s larger than just you and any sort of whim that might cross your mind. As with anything else, if podcasting is not set in stone, it’s so easy to let it slip.
“Susan, one of your strong skill sets that you brought to this was the discipline that we’re putting something out at 4am on Thursday, every week. When we were busy, you’d say ‘No, take an old episode, edit down and publish. We don’t need to create something new every week.’ And because of that insistance on sticking to our strict publishing schedule every week, that’s why we got somewhere. That’s why we got traction. That’s why we have 150 episodes. So kudos to you for pushing that.” – Will Lamont
6. Having a co-host truly makes podcasting fun.
We believe we stuck with podcasting largely because we enjoyed it. Susan says, “I would say that I would blow off a client meeting, if I needed to get some space; I would push back a deadline. But I rarely pushed back a scheduled podcast recording because THAT was fun! And unless you’re sick or a guest canceled, which doesn’t happen a lot, it truly is a non-negotiable. It’s one of the best parts of my day.”
7. Co-hosting with a collective goal on efficient content creation results in masses of content and engagement
In addition to it being fun, podcasting is the easiest way to create new content. For us that meant 2 of us on an 8 person team showing up, with a little bit of planning, hitting record and talking about a relevant topic to our audience. Then it goes into our content creation machine, clips are pulled from it; it turns into a blog post, it’s written up into masses of social media posts! Basically, all of that weekly content comes from us getting maybe spending 30 minutes talking on the podcast together, whether in a teaching mode or with one or a couple of guests. We kept at it because we knew that this 30 minutes was worth its weight in gold because it was going to produce a crap ton of material for us!
We really fully understand the value of sort of anchoring in key content. Not showing up for podcasting meant that everything else fell back and became more complicated. You’ve totally got to believe that this is the easiest way to create that content!
If you’d like to chat more about your marketing concerns (or any of your content!), please give us a shout at C+P Digital – we would love to help!
Plus, if you’re losing sleep over a particular marketing/business related problem or if you would like to suggest a guest on the 4AM Report, let us know.
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And as always, sweet dreams😴…well, hopefully!