When you start your own advisor podcast, what approach will you take as the podcast host? 

More specifically, should you position yourself as the financial expert who then talks only about financial topics, should you interview other financial experts, or should you interview people that are not financial experts but whose expertise will add value to your audiences’ lives? 

This is a multi-faceted but important question that I will help you answer in this blog. 

Let me start by introducing three shorter questions that I will walk you through:

  1. What are your goals: leads or relationships?
  2. What format will work best for you: interviews or solocasts?
  3. How frequently do you want to record: monthly or weekly? 30 minutes or 60 minutes?

What are your goals: leads or relationships?

Your first thought is likely, “What’s the difference between a lead and a relationship?” 

Leads are typically the outcomes of a quick connection and offer. They are the result of “ask-based” marketing. 

Marketing is about finding people and then making them an offer. When that offer doesn’t work, those “prospects” typically drop off. 

Relationships, on the other hand, are “give-based” marketing. Give-based marketing seeks to add deep and ongoing value whereas ask-based marketing dangles value in front of people and then quickly switches to the “ask.”

What you should focus on.

If you want leads
  • Stick to financial topics and guests. 
  • Have a clear audience, advice, and calls-to-action. Make it easy for people to listen and say yes. 
  • Have a paper or checklist with podcast topics) that listeners can access by giving you their contact info, and then work the lead. 
If you want to build relationships
  • Find a balance of financial and non-financial topics and expertise. 
  • Assess which topics and episodes get more plays and better social engagement, and then do more of those types of episodes. If that happens to be more non-financial podcasts, then run with that when it makes sense. 
  • Engage listeners in other content such as blog posts, papers, books, and checklists. Find ways to be their go-to source for advice in keys areas that relate back to financial planning. 

What format will work best for you: conversation or solocast?

Personally, I prefer conversational podcasts. Solocasts can be engaging but can also seem ranty and also require the podcaster to be well-seasoned and well-organized to pull it off. 

Two-person podcasts work best because they can read off each other’s verbal cues. When there are three people in a podcast, it can be tricky to time verbal cues unless the two guests are in the same room and can read off each others’ body language. 

What you should focus on.

If you prefer a solocast format
  • Stick to financial topics unless you have expertise in other areas. You can combine financial and non-financial topics but don’t go solely non-financial, as you may end up being known more for that than financial —unless that gives you an obvious vertical marketing opportunity.
  • Be incredibly organized so you can stay on topic and be intriguing to your listeners. That’s not easy to do alone. 
  • Have complementary content available as a companion to your podcast topics. 
If you prefer a conversational format
  • Find a balance of financial and non-financial topics and expertise. In most cases, the guest should be the expert. 
  • Share an outline of the episode in advance so you can keep each other on track during the recording.
  • Relate non-financial topics back to financial planning when it flows. Don’t push it. 

How frequently and how long should your podcasts be: monthly or Weekly? 30 minutes or 60 minutes?

There’s some debate about this subject. 

Standard frequency protocols suggest that the more frequently you podcast, the shorter your episodes should be. If it’s a daily podcast, 10-15 minutes would be an appropriate length. If it’s monthly, 60-90 minutes would be enough. 

Meanwhile, standard lifestyle protocols suggest that podcast length shouldn’t be determined by how often the podcaster podcasts, but by how much time the listener has to listen. Commutes average 30-45 minutes. With this in mind, 25-30 minutes is a valid best practice. I’m in the 25-30 minute camp but while we aim for that length in our Top Advisor Marketing Podcast, Matt and I often go over by 5-10 minutes. 

The topic and dialogue will ultimately decide the length of your episodes, but from the outset, aim for shorter as opposed to longer to keep people interested and to fit with their busy lives. I’d rather someone have the opportunity to listen to a second and third episode than one long one.

There is also a debate about the frequency of podcasting. 

There are more factors at play here than optimizing for your audience. Most podcasters have to juggle time commitment and budget when thinking about establishing a podcast frequency. One can’t forget about their podcast supporting other marketing tactics, such as social media, either.

Recording weekly is a lot of work but puts advisors and companies in better positions to create awareness and excitement. At the same time, finding guests and producing, publishing, and promoting episodes on a weekly basis might put a strain on your time and budget. 

Doing a podcast bi-monthly can alleviate some of the demands on your time and budget. If you podcast at this frequency, your audience won’t be waiting too long between episodes, you will have enough episodes to establish yourself as the expert and bring on expert guests, and you will be publishing enough new episodes that you can continuously promote your podcast on social media, which is critical to your success. 

Yet, if you want to expedite your podcast and brand awareness, try podcasting weekly or four times per month. It’s the perfect frequency for keeping your audience, social media and area of expertise happy.

What you should focus on.

If you prefer monthly frequency
  • Stick to financial topics because you’re not podcasting frequently enough to dabble outside of your core topic. Maybe over the course of a year you can branch into other topics once or twice. 
  • Create an editorial calendar of timely topics since you need to maximize each episode (e.g., tax episode in March, charitable giving before year-end).
  • Aim for episode lengths of 45-60 minutes.
If you prefer bi-monthly (every other week) frequency
  • The more frequently you podcast, the more topics and varied expertise you can introduce. You can also bring on more guests and create hype around getting onto your podcast as a guest. 
  • With this frequency, you generate more content, which builds you greater credibility. 
  • To shorten prep time, have go-to questions for each guest and make sure the topics and expertise don’t become redundant. 
  • Aim for episode length of 20-30 minutes.

As you can see, there is no set way of approaching your podcast. Take the best of what you have learned here and apply it to yours. Aim for quality over quantity. Be as consistent and interesting as possible. Keep your audience top of mind when planning your podcast format and theme. And, have fun.