Paul Zelizer — Tools, Techniques, and The Mindset of Podcasting

Paul Zelizer is one of the first business coaches to focus on the needs of conscious entrepreneurs and social impact businesses. He also works with leaders to help them increase the transformational impact that they have. Paul is the former Director of Social Media for Wisdom 2.0, one of the premier mindfulness brands in the world. In 2017, he founded Awarepreneurs – two of the things the company is known for is our popular podcast and the Awarepreneurs Community, a dynamic group of 300+ social and wellness entrepreneur leaders who support each other in growing their businesses, increasing their positive impact and practicing self care.

Connect with Paul: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Podcast

I asked Paul some of the important questions that anyone can leverage in their podcasting journey.

Please enjoy!

Nishant Garg: What’s your current guest recruitment process look like? How do you approach someone whom you don’t know? Any advice or template for cold-outreach that has worked for you? 

Paul Zelizer: We’ve built our brand so we get 200-300 pitches per week.  We sort thru these as well as do cold outreach via LinkedIn (most helpful for the thought leaders we look to engage), platforms like, Instagram and the potential guests website.

Nishant Garg: What advice people should ignore when they are just thinking to start the podcast and not quit after 7-10 episodes? Any best practices people should consider?

Paul Zelizer: Be very, very clear on you WHY – how does the podcast connect with your values and your purpose.  And also, if you have any intentions at all of earning revenue via the podcast and you don’t have much marketing experience, strongly encourage folks to get support to develop a simple business and marketing plan for the podcast. 

Nishant Garg: What information do you request the guests before the day of the recording? Before hitting the record button, do you have any sort of pre-conversation with guests? If so, what does that conversation look like?

Paul Zelizer: Yes, I have a fairly detailed “Podcast Invite Letter”.  Link here.  And I do a 15-20 minute “meet & greet” time on a separate day before the interview.  In that interview, the guest and I discuss if they are a fit for the Awarepreneurs podcast, who our audience is, what the title will be and what are the key content points the guest wants to cover.

Podcast Invite Letter looks like below:

Hi ____,

I hope you are well and taking good care as you do the very important work that you do in these poignant times.

I’m honored to invite you to the Awarepreneurs podcast.

Some logistics:

  • The Awarepreneurs podcast is focused on the intersection a) conscious business, b) social impact and c) awareness practices.
  • We want a dynamic, engaging conversation in this intersection.  Two ways we can land on that is either a short meet & greet conversation before we record or for you to take a look at our previous episodes and suggest a topic.
  • You can schedule either the networking time or podcast interview time via my online calendar.
  • The actual interview itself is 50-55 minutes.
  • We record via Zoom, audio only. 
  • I ask you to have some sort of mic that’s not your phone or computer mic. A headset like this one is my minimum recommendation. A podcast mic is even better.
  • I need a high resolution photo from you for the episode graphic.  

That’s the details. 

Again, I’m grateful you’ve agreed to this dialogue and I’m very much looking forward to our conversation!

Nishant Garg: In your podcasting journey, what are some of the things you did earlier, and don’t do it now? What are the questions you used to ask and now you don’t tend to ask? What are the good basics questions you usually ask the guest to get an authentic response?

Paul Zelizer: Spend less time emailing back and forth with potential guests. I don’t use scripted questions much anymore, but rather ones that arise in the moment after a good amount of research and having the meet and greet with the guest.

Nishant Garg: At the time of launch, do you ask guests to promote it as well? If guests volunteer to promote it, what promotional materials do you provide them?

Paul Zelizer: I don’t mandate anything, but many of our guests do promote vigorously.  I would suggest this is because we’ve built a podcast that is popular in our space (in the top 2% of all podcasts according to Listen Notes) and guests use the interview to promote their aligned offerings.  We provide:An episode graphic

a) Links to where their audience can find it (our website, iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.)

b) The embed code so they can put it on their site if they want to.

Thanks for reading this far. Cheers!

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