Dr. Jeremy Weisz | [Live Episode] How to Create Great Content for Podcasts

But a case in point, John, we love profiling people we admire, we love and in, you know, I had David Mann and Derek Smith on from Firefly Group. They were introduced to me by Dan Zawacki of Lobster Gram. He was the first person to send live lobsters in the mail, direct mail. Imagine getting a live lobster in the mail. And he did that back in the 80s. And he was featured on Oprah. And Howard Stern talked about him. And what makes for great content. One of the things we will talk about we have to go into his great stories and that’s what sticks out. And Gino wickman also who I’ve had on you’ve had on i think you know Dan Zawacki referred David Mann and Derek Smith, who bought EOS from Gino Wickman, which I didn’t realize at the time. And all those three are great, you know, the EOS system is an amazing framework for businesses. So those are a couple that people should check out. And there’s some amazing stories in there. What about you?

John Corcoran 3:32
Yeah, it’s a great one. There’s a couple of great ones there. Yeah, for me, you know, I had, it’s hard to narrow down. And you make a great point. Because a lot of times when I walk away from a great interview, one of the things that I value the most is just the personal relationship that came from it. So it’s sometimes hard to separate those two. But certainly my interview with Alexi Cashen, who later became a client as a client now but she told an amazing, heart wrenching, personal story of embezzlement at our company was very transparent about it. And just the honesty and the rawness really came through. So that was really great. On the other end of the scale, a different type of interview, but Jason Swank, who was a mentor for you and I talked about the, you know, the challenges of building up an agency and some of the things that you need to be aware of. And then another recent one, Nick Damoulakis, he’s, he’s a great guy, and he told this amazing story in the early 90s. He was in college and built up this website using his colleges, servers, you know, like people did at the time, you know, you didn’t have internet access. So he hosted this website, and it got a ton of attention, like hundreds 1000s of downloads, and it was kind of disruptive to the music industry. And he told this crazy story about showing up to the president of the university’s office and all these music executives are sitting around the board table. It’s kind of a crazy story.

Jeremy Weisz 4:57
So there’s Fabrice Grinda, who is a big VC investor, talked about how he closed a deal with Snoop Dogg at a crazy party. And, and, and also with the Wu Tang Clan. And if you look at Fabrice Grinda, you look at Wu Tang Clan or Snoop Dogg. You think they’re polar opposites, the way they act, the way they look just their whole persona. And so he told that story as well, that does remind me of the music industry.

John Corcoran 5:32
So let’s dive into this topic, how to create great content. Now, Jeremy, you literally created a course on this before. I’m constantly learning from you all the time about ways to elicit great content from, you know, in podcast episodes. Let’s start with your number one tip, which is to bring in stories because people love stories rather than advice, which is the exact opposite of what I’m doing right now, we’re giving you advice rather than stories. But maybe you can think of an example of a story actually, I mean, fingered was a story because we just exactly.

Jeremy Weisz 6:08
Yeah, we mean, the biggest thing is, you know, from your dad, also from movies and TV, people want stories and love stories, and they’re entertaining. They’re educational. So stories and examples are great. And that’s why we just gave some examples of some past episodes and we didn’t just say, oh, check out, you know, the episode with Fabrice Grinda. We said check it out when he talked to Snoop Dogg and they were you know, Snoop Dogg was hitting a bong and they were closing a big deal, right? And so you want to heat Listen, or when you say Alexi Cashen and embezzlement you want you get drawn into the curiosity of what happened, right?

John Corcoran 6:53
You don’t say, you know, on that episode, we had 17.5 stories, go check it out, you know, very, not very interesting. But you’ve got a great tip for how to get people to tell stories, because sometimes it’s not so easy.

Jeremy Weisz 7:05
Yeah. I mean, it’s gonna go into the second point a little bit. And you could shortcut this by doing research. When you do research, you already know the story. Like I remember when I had Nolan Bushnell on the podcast, who is the founder of Atari. He was Steve Jobs, his mentor, and I listened to his book again, you don’t have to listen to everyone’s book. But I listened to his book there. He talked about that. Steve Jobs offered him 33% of Apple for $50,000. Okay, so obviously, I’m going to ask him, we know he turned that down. He’d be the richest person on the planet, if he took that, you know, took that deal. But I obviously asked him that story. So taking people to a specific point in time, almost forces them to tell a story. Right, right. So what when, you know, when I took them to that conversation, he had to tell a story. If someone is on your podcast, and they’re, you’re engaging with them, they don’t tell a story. Like let’s say you did no research, the person’s not telling stories. You can take them to a specific point in time, tell me a time when or get or if they say something like you say, Jeremy, I have had several favorite episodes, the one with Alexi Cashen, and like, what was it? Give me an example of a story she told in that. So give me an example. is another way you can get to a specific story as well.

John Corcoran 8:38
Right, right. And do you find that you need to prompt people beforehand?

Jeremy Weisz 8:43
You know, no, I mean, if you have a good story, he’ll, so that goes to kind of the second one, right? The second way to make a really good content interview is his research. Mm hmm. No research, could be researching it. It could be a pre interview, right before the interview where you are asking them, like I asked, you know, if I have John, you know, tell me a great example. Or tell me a crazy story from this period of time. So we may brainstorm a little bit before we hit record on a cool story to tell from the journey,

John Corcoran 9:19
right? But it doesn’t do what you’re saying it doesn’t need to take a ton of time in order to extract those stories. And you can always just ask people for examples and if it is a meaningful story from their life, one that they’ve told many times before, which is probably one of the types of stories you want people to tell in a podcast and they’re probably going to be able to come up with it. So the second point is do your research. And what a common question we get from people is how much research and what should I do for research? When I’m starting a podcast or I’m doing a podcast?

Jeremy Weisz 9:49
Yeah, I’m a terrible person asked this question too,

John Corcoran 9:52
of course. Right? Well, we take different approaches. I, you know, could never keep up with the amount of research that you do when you meet you there have interviews where you’ve done eight to 10 hours worth of research. Well, more than that.

Jeremy Weisz 10:05
I mean, Wim Hof. When I had Wim Hof on, if anyone knows him Guinness Book of Records called The Iceman, he’s, you know, he has a TED talk where he’s basically submerged in ice, and doing the talk, and most people would die literally, from it. But I’d probably did 25 hours of research for that one, he just was so you when you have people that you admire, and that you really are excited to have on which you should be everyone. You almost want to do research on them. Sometimes I go overboard, you know, with that, but you don’t need to do that amount of research. Obviously, if you look at their LinkedIn page, we were just talking. I mean, before we hit record is you there’s so much information, if you go to their social media, if you go to their LinkedIn, you go to their website, there’s so much information there. Like I think, you know, if you look, I forgot who it was, but one of the podcast guests I saw on their LinkedIn they had was one of seven kids. And I was obviously going to ask them a specific question about Tell me what the dinner table was like, give me one dinner table story with seven kids. Right. And, again, it’s research to take him to tell a specific story that they probably have never told before.

John Corcoran 11:21
Yeah, they don’t get asked about it all that often, you know, you do that extra layer of research. And you’re right, there’s so many social media, there’s so much more information about people out these days now compared to 15 years ago, that you can find something and you can find that little nugget of something that you have in common or that just is of interest to you, it can really make such a huge difference. And in terms of the content, there’s two

Jeremy Weisz 11:45
ends of the spectrum, right? There’s someone you have on there and there’s literally nothing online about them. Maybe they have social media, and there’s someone who’s published 24 bucks. Right? So how did I find that harder? Actually, when there’s too much information on it?

John Corcoran 12:00
It is I and how did you prepare to talk about what I mean? I just interviewed someone like that who’d published 24 books I had, just like it was in academia and published in hundreds of articles. So it was impossible to, you know, to keep up on all that, you know, I ended up I ended up finding a presentation, he had kind of like one core framework or idea or concept that he had, that we focused on in the interview, and I found a webinar presentation on it. And I went through the PowerPoint presentation, which is great, because it kind of dumbs it down to its main points. And I use that for the framework of the interview. And then he had also co-authored a book with a sitting Secretary of State, which was the only time that had been done. And so I thought that was really interesting. I have a background in politics. So I was interested in that. So I asked him about that as well. So you find again, you find those things that you’re interested in,

Jeremy Weisz 12:57
I think, you know, that kind of goes to the next point. So one, make sure that you incorporate stories and examples in the content. Number two, make sure you do some research. That helps you do number one. And in number three that we talked about, is don’t overthink it. Right? Because the more you push, you know, actually do interviews and do content, the better you get at it. And that goes into kind of what you just said with how you do the research. You What I do is, so I don’t overthink it. I latch onto a couple things. And I’m really curious about MX, and you can have a whole discussion which will branch off from there about the things you’re curious about. So if you’re thinking if you’re like me, and you maybe tend to overthink things, if you don’t and you’re going with the flow, then you’ll be fine.

John Corcoran 13:50
Right. But oftentimes, it’s the intellectuals that heavily educated the high fact finders that struggle with this. It’s amazing to me, yeah, I remember talking to someone who had a law degree and an MBA, and incredibly intelligent, incredibly articulate, she was like, I don’t know what I’ll ask these people. I don’t know what I’ll talk to them about. I was like you, there’s so many things that you talk to people about, especially, you know, if you own your own company, or if you’ve ever done any kind of sales, you got to have a little bit of the gift of gab with people. And there’s certain things that you come back to, again, again, that you take interest in and that you just kind of go to comfort questions that you get comfortable with that you want to ask over and over again. I’m certainly that way I have certain comfortable questions that I’m comfortable with. So yeah, I think that’s a great point about not overthinking it, because you’re not competing with 60 minutes. You’re not competing with Terry Gross. You don’t have to worry about that, you can just be you and have a conversation.

Jeremy Weisz 14:48
Yeah. And if you’re curious about it, if you have a genuine curiosity that’s going to come out to the person it’s going to come out to someone listening to it, and it’s going to lead to further discussion about it. Yeah, you know, one thing to point out, if you go to rise25.com, there is a Courses tab where we have a Predictable Podcast Profits Course. And we taught one of the modules that we do in this course is all about this, right? So we go in great depth around the structure of that interview, what questions we recommend what we like, we can’t go over all of it now. But those are, these are just a few kinds of pieces of that. I don’t know if you want to touch on anything else.

John Corcoran 15:32
Yeah. Last thing I want to ask you about before we wrap things up is one of the things I love about doing a podcast is that it gives you license to ask smart people questions that you’re curious about. But where do you draw the line between asking a question, which is one that’s for you and asking a question that’s relevant for the audience? How do you decide on the difference between those two? Because I’ve heard lots of interviews where I’m listening to the interviewer and like, yeah, that was a boring question. Or like, that’s really just something that that person’s curious about, I don’t think the audience is all that interested in it.

Jeremy Weisz 16:08
No, that’s true. And by the way, I don’t know if you’ll like my answer to this. But I write I, I preface everything with I don’t think you’re like my answer. But I lean more towards being selfish. Ask what you’re curious about. And I’ve heard and I felt the same way. John, I’ve listened to podcasts where someone asked, Well, what are your favorite bottles of wine or something, and I personally could care less about that. Like, I’m not a wine kind of sore person. But there’s gonna be certain people who are attracted to that show and that interviewer because they like the gas, they like the likes of that host. And I may not be, but that’s totally fine. And people are gonna be attracted more to me if I ask certain questions, and you who ask certain questions. So listen, we can never please everyone. So I default to if you’re curious about you care about it as a person, then now there’s some to take into the guests account. And I will be for some interviews, I will call up a couple friends. And I’ll say, hey, this person on what are you curious about? And then I will merge what they’re curious about with what I saw. They say five things. And I’m like, I could care less about like three of those things that you said, personally, I’m gonna still gravitate towards the two that they are curious about. But I am also curious about it so I still it’s still I default to What do you care about? And if you can incorporate what other people care about, if you also care about it, cool. If not, don’t overdo going back to the other one. Don’t overthink it, right? Go with the stuff that you care about. If you care about what wine the person drinks, ask it, I don’t care personally. And other listeners who don’t care about it will get turned off by it, maybe. But that’s

John Corcoran 18:06
okay. If you care about it. You want to attract your people. One final actually additional question I thought of which is under the idea of creating great content. So naturally, because you want to create great content, you should go back and you should listen to the entire thing, edit out all the arms and ahhs and the awkward moments and all that kind of stuff, right?

Jeremy Weisz 18:26
Of course not. Yeah. And you agree with me on this one, but it’s the what we love about podcasting is it’s an authentic medium that you could just talk, you know, and editing every making it perfect adding, you know, there’s their shows that do that or when that’s there in the business of broadcasting podcast,

John Corcoran 18:47
and you are a little different stuff. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 18:50
So if you are producing them, there’s a small percentage of a very, very highly produced show, and they should be doing that. Okay. The large majority who are not going to be doing that they are really about the authentic conversation. I’m not gonna name the podcast, a podcast I actually liked and listened to. I think it’s overproduced. Like I just actually get annoyed by it. I just like let him talk, like, let the conversation flow. I want to hear all of it and there’s so much editing to it.

Jeremy Weisz 19:22
can’t, I can’t get into the full flow of the conversation, or editing so much out there clipping so much in. So I like just listening almost like I’m in the room, you’re flying the wall to people talking. And it doesn’t need to be overly produced. And I think I think speaking as someone who’s done a podcast for quite some time, the discipline of doing it does make you a better speaker. Certainly.

John Corcoran 19:49
It makes you naturally try and improve the way that you talk. I’m being very conscious of it right now, as you can tell.

Jeremy Weisz 19:58
Well, you know, my wife listened to one of ours talking and she’s like, John, is so much better than you.

John Corcoran 20:05
She’s probably the exact same thing. My wife, Nicole said, actually referring to you.

Jeremy Weisz 20:19
So I think certain, you know, it goes with practice, like you said, I’d like to emphasize anything else on this. I like to finish up with a question. But anything else on these topics? I want to talk about our best. You know, we talked about stories and examples. We talked about research, importance, and just over not overthinking and having curiosity. So it kind of relates to this overarching theme, what has been your favorite if you think back at your podcasts? And we talked about some interesting ones people should check out but what would you say are the top two best stories, you have to tell the full story that sticks out from you? Again, we both have been podcasting for probably over 10 years, what has been the top one or two stories, and I’ll start since I’m putting you on the spot from your podcast, and I remember, it’s not always the most popular, most well known guest. And I had Chris gay Come on. And he talked about how, because the other thing I like about stories, you remember them, and they’re actionable, because you can remember them. He talked about how both his parents died of HIV. Before he was age, I forgot what it was maybe seven or something and he had to take care of his siblings, he thought he had four or five of them. And he got a lottery ticket to go come to the US to go to college. And the first time he owned a pair of shoes was he was 18. And I remember this he told the story, where he was on the airplane the first time he’s obviously ever been on an airplane to come to the US he won this lottery to stay with a family in the US and the lady came around handing bottles of water like they do on an airplane. And he literally thought God descended from the heavens because the way he got water was he had to walk five miles, pump a well, walk five miles back or whatever. However, the story goes that someone is just handing him a bottle of water stuff that we take for granted. impacted me, you know, and immediately made me think I have to have more gratitude for this. And you know, the simple things that we take for granted. So anyways, yeah, what’s your favorite story?

John Corcoran 22:54
Yeah, there’s so many but one that comes to mind when you know that I often ask the same question. At the end, we’re asked people if they’re giving a speech for lifetime achievement, who would they think and I’m looking for them to pull out, you know, maybe someone from their childhood or whatever. And when I interviewed Sean Magennis, who was recently president and CEO of YPO, an amazing, huge organization, he pulled back to his childhood and told this story he grew up in South Africa.

John Corcoran 23:22
during apartheid. And he, I’m gonna get hazy on all the details of it. But there was an African American man who really raised him and his siblings, and had a huge impact on him. And he just spoke with such reverence about this individual and the impact that he had on his life and how it affected his life to this day. And so that was a real surprise. I didn’t even know you know, I didn’t see it coming or anything like that. And it was very touching and sincere. So, you know, that’s one example.

Jeremy Weisz 23:57
When I when I he talked about Nelson Mandela, and a crazy story with Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Yeah. So yeah, I love that.

John Corcoran 24:07
Yeah. Jeremy wrapping things up. Where can people go to learn more about you and I and the work that we do and Rise25?

Jeremy Weisz 24:14
They can go to rise25.com. They can. There’s a video of us. You clipped it in, clipped in outtakes of it. So I, you know, we joke around and we have humor about mistakes that we make. And that kind of shows what it’s about. So you can watch a video and it talks about how you generate relationships and ROI with a podcast, but it’s and you can go to our about page and find out more about us as well on rise25.com.

John Corcoran 24:46
Excellent. All right. Thanks so much, Jerremy.

Outro 24:48
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