(By Ed Ryan) The great thing about being the Editorial Director of a publication focused on a fun and exciting medium is you meet passionate, interesting people. Take Mark Struczewski for example. He pretty much stalked us to get him in the PBJ spotlight. After hearing him pitch his story, we found out it was certainly worth talking to him. He has a very cool story to tell and here it is, our spotlight on Mark Struczewski.
PBJ: How did you get into podcasting and why?
Mark: I heard Gary Vaynerchuk talk about how the future is audio back in the spring of 2017. I thought about how I was not getting traction on YouTube or Facebook, so I investigated podcasting. As a former radio DJ back in the day (in another lifetime), I am very comfortable speaking into a microphone all alone! That’s what DJs do these days for the most part. I didn’t know what to expect but when I got 125 downloads of my show in the first 23 days after I started with no paid promotion, I was blown away. I mean I downloaded my own podcast…but who were these other people? I know to many 125 downloads seems like nothing. But to me it was huge because…who was I? And my podcast continued to grow ever since. I love podcasting because it’s mobile and I’m literally in the ears of my audience.
PBJ: What is Mr. Productivity?
Mark: I love productivity and helping people punch distractions in the face. I am obsessed with helping people punch distractions in the face so they can get done what they need to.
PBJ: What is the key to being productive every day?
Mark: Being intentional. For example, telling your time where to go (by scheduling), instead of wondering where it went (being reactive). Knowing what your biggest distractions are and having a plan to subdue them. Also, compartmentalization. In other words, when it’s time to be on social media (scheduled, hopefully), that’s all you do. When it’s time to make sales calls, that’s all you do.
PBJ: How are you marketing/getting the word out now about your podcast?
Mark: I have Libsyn post on Twitter and LinkedIn for me when episodes are released (I tag my guests). Other than having incredible guests on my show, I don’t do any other promotion unless I am speaking or out in public (I’m always wearing “Ask Me About My Podcast” shirts to get the conversation going. Note: my shirts don’t say the name of my podcast because I want a conversation to start.) I also promote episodes on my email newsletter.
PBJ: How did you get the first one out when you began?
Mark: Just did it. Because I self-taught myself podcasting, I had no idea what I was doing. I just told a bunch of friends that I started podcasting and for them to check it out. I can’t believe that I’ve released over 300 episodes now!
PBJ: How many downloads/listens are you getting?
Mark: I’ve learned a lot since I started podcasting on July 7, 2017. When it comes to stats, it’s about downloads of an episode in the first 24 hours and then downloads of an episode in 30 days. My downloads after 24 hours are around 52. After 30 days, I’m approaching triple digits. I used to be unhappy about these numbers until I heard Dave Jackson share how he used to teach students in a classroom and how there were about 20 people in the classroom. That’s a lot of people to be helping. 100 downloads/people is 5 classrooms. I no longer focus on downloads but rather on value now.
PBJ: What are your biggest challenges?
Mark: Growing my audience, becoming a better interviewer and getting quality guests on my show.
PBJ: Are you making any money with the podcast or is it a marketing tool mostly?
Mark: I use my podcast to build authority and influence in my field. I also use it to promote my speaking business. I’ve chosen not to have any ads on my podcast. Instead of having irrelevant ads, I and my guests are the ads.
PBJ: What advice do you have for other podcasters considering launching one of their own?
Mark: Just do it. Make the decision and then go for it. Understand that podcasting is a marathon not a sprint (more great advice I’ve learned from so many podcasting influencers). And be you, avoid being boring and have fun!
PBJ: What equipment are you using?
Mark: I record my interviews on Skype using eCamm Call Recorder, I use the ATR2100 mic, GarageBand to edit, Auphonic to process the audio and I host with Libsyn.