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Leveraging Podcasts for Business Growth Strategies: A Conversation with Molly Ruland - Part 2
Episode 20411th October 2023 • Audio Branding • Jodi Krangle
00:00:00 00:24:20

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“I feel like people are just becoming more and more repelled by that and so I think the days of companies being more personal and accessible, and ‘I want to hear what you sound like, I want to know who you are before I sign a contract with you, before I do business with you,’ I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I think, if anything, it’s going to deepen. I think people think about branded podcasts as, like, Colgate having a podcast about brushing your teeth.” -- Molly Ruland


This week is the second half of my interview with CEO and Heartcast Media founder Molly Ruland as we talk about the overarching importance of who you know, how an obscure podcast led one of her clients to a ten-million-dollar contract and the value and limits of Artificial Intelligence.

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Being 100% Myself

As the second half of our conversation opens, Molly talks about how being herself and putting herself out there has helped her win over clients and build her business. “I have found,” she explains, “that by getting out in front of people and being 100% myself, I attract the kind of clients who resonate with that.” She also tells us about some of her favorite podcasting clients, from political analysts to audio dramas, and how one client's emergency request for 76 audiobook narrations led to Heartcast Media's first audiobook studio. "I think that I’m probably the most proud of the work we did there.”


The Collateral Benefits

Molly also tells us about some of the unexpected benefits her clients might find in running a podcast, such as a podcast host for a very obscure and technical show whose expertise attracted a ten-million-dollar contract. “You just never know the collateral benefits of what a podcast can do,” she reminds us. She also warns us about some of the more popular SEO trends like sales funnels that sound good on paper but make less sense in practice. “A funnel implies a large amount of traffic being funneled into a smaller amount,” she explains. “So where is this large amount of traffic coming from?” We also discuss how AI is revolutionizing everything from podcast show notes to SEO predictions, and how SEO companies in particular are facing a dramatic shakeup as computers turn out to be more and more useful in calculating the best results. “And I’m not necessarily mad about that,” Molly adds.


Bring Your Own Table

As our talk comes to a close, Molly discusses her early career as one of the lone women in a very male-dominated field, and the advice she has for women who find themselves in the same situation today. “My advice to people,” she explains, “is just do your own thing. Don’t worry about it if there’s no room at the table – bring your own table” Molly concludes with one last bit of advice, and a call for women to stick together regardless of their profession: “If you’re a woman in a male-dominated industry, make some room for other women, because that’s the only way we’re going to shift the balance”


Episode Summary

  • Molly’s first experience with audiobooks and how they changed her company.
  • How even an obscure podcast can be lucrative with the right audience.
  • The role of Artificial Intelligence in everything from show notes to SEO.
  • Molly’s advice to women and anyone who’s looking for a seat at the table.


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