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Welcome to Season 2 of The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson, where we give you information that you can immediately implement to increase your influence and market your books more successfully. This month, we are focusing on the topic of podcasts. In this episode we are joined by a longtime friend and client, Bonnie Marcus—executive coach, author, speaker, and podcast host.
About Bonnie Marcus
Becky: Before we dive into our topic today, I would love for you to tell our audience about your book.
Bonnie: My book is called Not Done Yet!: How Women Over 50 Regain Their Confidence and Claim Workplace Power. I really had fun with this book because it was a topic that I didn’t know, as much as I thought I did about one of these things. I have to confess that I realized as I was writing it, how ageist I am myself, and that was kind of a discovery, but it’s really a guidebook for women to defy their ageist assumptions, and stay marketable, keep their job, and stay at the top of their game. Because society really marginalizes women over 50, I would say, as soon as we start to show visible signs of aging, we are pretty much viewed as not having much value anymore. So I’m really passionate about that and it really kind of pissed me off, I felt like I really needed to bring some awareness to gender ageism, and also help women to navigate it.
When and why did you start your podcast?
Becky: Bonnie, you’re also helping women through your podcast, Badass Women at Any Age. And that’s the topic of our podcast today. It’s a little bit meta, we’re gonna have a podcast talking about podcasts. But particularly today, we want to talk about the way a podcast can be another tool in the marketing of your book. So Bonnie, maybe we could start with you telling us about when you started your podcast and why?
Bonnie: Sure, I had to look it up because I knew you were gonna ask me that. I lost track. I actually started the podcast in September of 2019 and I just completed 68 episodes. I was looking back and scrolling on Apple and looking back at all the episodes and I was like, whoa. When I wrote the book, Not Done Yet!, I really wanted women to find that badass energy and courage that perhaps they had when they were younger. And so there are three sections in the book, and the third section is be your best self. And at one point the book was titled, Badass Women at Any Age. I ended up just making that into one section of the book, but picking up on that theme is when I started the podcast, Badass Women at Any Age, because really it’s any age, it’s not just women over 50. I really wanted to focus on women who have made amazing journeys in their life and career, and how that inspires us, all of us, myself included, who’s interviewing them, but also my listeners, to really take in that inspiration and understand that at any age, you can be a badass. You can really step up and authentically understand who you are and what you have to offer. So that theme in the book is something that I have picked up on in this podcast, and then every week I’m doing these amazing interviews with women who just inspire, week after week, with their stories of how they’ve overcome so much to reach where they are today. And it’s not big celebrity women, Becky, it’s just ordinary women in a variety of careers who have had to face certain obstacles and reach where they are today.
Your favorite episodes on Badass Women at Any Age?
Becky: So Bonnie, among those 68 episodes, do you have any that really stand out to you as being particularly meaningful or inspirational, in case our guests would like to give them a listen?
Bonnie: Whoa, that’s a hard question. So I have five podcasts that I’ve just selected as my top 20 of 2020. And I’m highlighting them now in both the blog and on the podcast itself. So one of them is Jessica Buchanan, who was doing some work in Somalia, and was kidnapped by Somali pirates, and held for ransom. The Navy SEALs needed to go in and rescue her. So now she’s a public speaker. She’s a TEDx speaker, and she does different coaching programs on resilience. But her story was really, really powerful.
Not something that you and I would normally face, but how she changed and what she has done as a result of that experience is definitely one of them. And Lisa Kohn, who survived her childhood growing up in a cult, and how she escaped that type of childhood, which was so addictive. She became a very successful career woman. So, there are really unusual circumstances that some of my guests have had, but nevertheless, they’re still very inspiring.
Becky: Lisa Kohn is definitely a hero of mine. So I’m glad that you had a great conversation with her.
Bonnie: You know her story, right?
Becky: I do. I actually read Lisa’s memoir in its very earliest stages. I printed it off on Microsoft Word and it was like four or five years before the book ever came to print that I had the chance to read her story. So it was very powerful.
How are you using your podcast as a vehicle to promote your books?
Becky: So Bonnie, let’s shift and talk a little bit about how you’re using the podcast as a vehicle to promote your latest book and in what way you create connections for the book through the podcast?
Bonnie: One of the things that I found most valuable when I was promoting my first book, The Politics of Promotion, was using the radio show that I had at the time to invite certain guests, career-related women. I found that by having them on my radio show at the time, I was making connections with women who I ordinarily would meet. They were then very willing to write endorsements for my book or be interviewed. So I took that lesson, certainly from this podcast as well. Now, the women that I’m interviewing, I had already written the book when I started the podcast. But now I find that developing these relationships expands my network. That women who are on this podcast understand the theme and the importance of talking about these stories and have helped me to promote the book. The other thing that I find is really great is that then people reciprocate. You invite them on your podcast and they reciprocate, or vice versa. So that widens your exposure and your message out there. The more podcasts you can do, the more you talk about your work and your podcast, the more exposure you have.
Becky: That’s a really great point. So when you invite people on your podcast, and we were talking before we started recording how it seems like everyone has a podcast these days, so that cross-pollination of audience is really helpful for expanding beyond the people who already know you.
What challenges have you faced with your podcast?
Becky: So Bonnie, what are some of the greatest challenges that you faced with this podcast?
Bonnie: In the beginning, I had a challenge of finding the right platform, finding a platform that was affordable, professional, and I knew that I wanted it to sound as professional as possible, and not sound like I was in my closet somewhere recording. So it took a couple of tries and then I found my current producer, and they’re terrific. So that was the first challenge.
Then I would say the second one is finding guests and vetting guests if you can. And understanding who would make a good guest, what their story is, and how it would fit. Scheduling them sometimes, I’m doing all of that myself, so that becomes a bit of a challenge and it consumes a lot of my time.
Because I’ve done a radio show for years, I guess, I already knew that it takes a lot of time. Though I do not script my interviews, it takes time to pull it together and to end up leveraging the podcast the way you would want. So the only part of my podcast that I do script is the intro and the outro. And that’s where I do my self-promotion. I’ll either tie the topic of the guest to my book, or I will talk about the topic of the book Not Done Yet! and you can find a download of the book discussion guide, anything that would help to promote the book. Especially in the outro, we’ll talk about different events that I am doing, that will help promote book sales. So I had a virtual book event at a local bookstore, a virtual event, or I’m doing different events for women’s organizations, etc. But I will always talk about that, put the links in the show notes, and refer everybody to the show notes. That’s the best advertising and the best way I can leverage without detracting from the content of the podcast itself.
Becky: So that’s a really important point, Bonnie, that you’re using your intro and your outro to talk about your book and your services. And you’re allowing the content of the conversation with each guest to stand on its own.
What recommendations do you have for someone considering starting their own podcast?
Becky: So I’m wondering, Bonnie, if authors are listening today, and they are considering starting their own podcast as a means of getting their ideas out into the world, what recommendations would you have for them?
Bonnie: That’s a tough one because, like you said, everybody is doing a podcast. Because it does take time and it does take a lot of work, I would say make sure that you find a topic for your podcast that you’re passionate about, that you will bring a lot of energy to, especially if you’re doing it every week. Because otherwise, it’s going to seem more like a chore, more like a burden. Like though this is what I’ve got to do this week, I have to say that, yet, each Thursday when I do my recordings, I look forward to the conversations and I look forward to getting to know more about my guests. And because I don’t script it, sometimes it’s pretty surprising, but I think that finding that topic is something that could be really important to begin with.
Becky: That’s helpful. Thank you, Bonnie. So as we come to the end of our conversation, one of the things that we always do on The Book Marketing Action Podcast is give our listeners a couple of actions that they can implement right away. So I’m wondering, Bonnie, if we can identify together some next steps that people could take as a result of listening to today’s podcast?
- First of all, do your homework, reach out to different podcast hosts, and find out what platform they’re on, if they like it, how’s it going, and talk to them about some of their challenges. The best way they found to market their podcast, the best way they found to get it on there. I think doing that homework will give you some direction to where you eventually want to go to position your podcast.
- Find a good partner like Weaving Influence to help you promote your podcast. I find it takes enough time and energy to do the podcast, I certainly don’t have the time and energy to get it on Instagram and to get it on Twitter and all my different social channels. So it really is helpful. And in finding the right producer, it’s taken me a while to find a good producer, but they do promo videos for me. They are my partner in helping me to build my platform for the podcast, they do great editing, they do the show notes. A lot of different podcast producers only do the recording and the editing. So I just found that having a partner in all of it, if you can find that, it’s good.
- Learn more about Bonnie Marcus and the work she does, here.
- Learn more and listen to her podcast episodes.
- Check out her books, Not Done Yet! and The Politics of Promotion, here.
- Connect with Bonnie on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.