Profit from podcasts – why listening to podcasts makes you smarter, richer, better.

Updated to Business on June 28, 2023.

I’m still surprised how many people I meet don’t listen to podcasts. I’m also surprised how many people like Duck Dynasty – some things are just unexplainable.

Podcasts are one of the best ways to learn (or be entertained) while doing something else. I can be running the trails, paddling my surfski, or commuting to a speaking event and, at the same time, getting great tips on building my business. For the information entrepreneur you will find experts sharing on how to grow a successful blog, outsource work, write a best-seller, or run a live event. It’s free, super easy to get new episodes, and works on every platform—what’s not to like?

We all need to learn. Whether you are a new on-line marketer, speaker, author, or blogger, there is a lot you need to know. And you need to learn from people that have already crashed, burned and figured out how to do it better. They will fast-track you to more success with having to repeat their mistakes.

When I was launching Experts Enterprise I listened religiously to Joe Polish and Dean Jackson at I love marketing to learn about direct marketing, the before, during, and after units, and their eight profit activators. More than that, I was getting amazing insights just by watching how they packaged their information in to blogs, podcasts, a web site, video interviews, special offers, meet-up groups, and eventually their first live event. In just one year they led their listeners through a progression that would take most of use three years.

Here are some podcasts that have had a huge influence my work (I recommend all of them):

     cliff-ravenscraft__medium Cliff Ravenscraft at Podcast Answer Man. I heard about Cliff through Pat Flynn and immediately signed up for his Podcasting A to Z course. If you want to know how to podcast – he’s the man. He’s also way-over-the-top generous with his content and advice.  Subscribe here.        
siteman David Siteman Garland at Rise to the Top is over the top. Fast paced, slightly irreverent, and good how-to advice. It’s like having a beer with a buddy – you don’t know what you’re going to get, but it’s fun being there. Subscribe here.
pat_flynn  Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income is a great example of how to mix it up with different topics, guests, and teaching formats. Sometimes it’s an interview, a lesson he teaches, a group of people he’s interviewing, a video, or a straight text blog. He told me on the phone recently he just teaches the way he wished people would have taught him—great motive. Subscribe here.
footer-amy1 Amy Porterfield at Online marketing made easy with Amy Porterfield has quickly come on the scene with a first-rate podcast, blog, on-line lessons and webinars. And it keeps getting better. Recently we learnt how to set up a one-click registration for webinars – thanks Amy! Subscribe here.
 jaime-tardy-successful-women-talk Jaime Tardy at Eventual Millionaire was one of the first podcasters I got hooked to (I’ve been interviewed twice on her show) and it’s great. Jaime consistently get great content out and is masterful and pulling some gems from each person she gets in the hot seat. Subscribe here.
 corbett Corbett Barr over at Think Traffic is a master at involving others. He uses guest posts (other experts contribute their experience or lesson to his blog) to mix it up and often there is a new video or document that takes you deeper into the lesson. Subscribe here (Fizzle).
 michael-hyatt Michael Hyatt at This is your life. I can’t help but be of awe of this man. As if his career with Thomas Nelson Publishers doesn’t give him enough street cred, he has built an uber-successful blog (over 360,000 subscribers and counting), operates three sell-out conferences, runs a brilliant online “university” ( (that I subscribe to), and seems to be a pretty great husband, dad, and community leader. I’ve ordered my Micheal Hyatt poster. Subscribe here.
 dumas John Lee Dumas at Entrepreneur on Fire is a great example of systems. He posts one podcast interview a day – the only person I know of brave enough to make that commitment. When he interviewed me he explained how he batches his interviews, editing, and posting throughout each week – it’s impressive. Subscribe here.
 natalie Natalie Sisson at Suitcase Entrepreneur. I interviewed Natalie for EE and she is worth watching and learning from. She used to fund her book and is one brave lady when it comes to letting the world know she has something of value. Subscribe here 
 ChrisBrogan-s Chris Brogan and Human Business Works taught me to relax in interviews, be okay with a bit of goofy banter, and to let the person being interviewed be the star. Subscribe here.
 Andrew-Warner-Headshot Andrew Warner at Mixergy. When Andrew interviewed me recently I got the inside scoop on how he puts together a very valuable podcast interview format. Pre-interviews, questionnaires, auto-reminders – it was all first class. Subscribe here.
 david wood David Wood at The Kick Ass Life podcast. Not only have I interviewed David (that’s when I learnt the hard way to never use noisy cafés for interviews), I’m a loyal listener. He has taught me that a little goofiness goes a long way and to not be afraid of calling on “A” lister’s for an interview (everyone wants publicity.) Subscribe here.
 TEDtalks TED talks. Need I say more? Subscribe and learn here.
baldwin Alec Baldwin at Here’s the thing. Perfect for raking leaves on a Sunday, Baldwin impresses me with his knack for gently teasing some real gems from the eclectic mix of stars he interviews. Start with the one with Billy Joel – it’s masterful. Subscribe here.
Nora Nora Young at CBC Spark. I had to eventually wean myself off Spark – it’s so well produced, an hour-long episode would fly by before I realized there weren’t any actionable take aways. But, well worth it if you are interested in the social impact of technology. Subscribe here.

How it works

One neat feature of podcasts is that you subscribe to listen to them. You can also (like on my podcast) listen to the individual recordings if they are posted on the host’s website. When you subscribe you automatically get the latest episodes of all your favorite shows every time you connect your player to your computer.

If you have iTunes already loaded on your computer, getting started with podcasts is easy. If you don’t have iTunes, get it here. Next, open the iTunes store (that’s where all the podcasts will be found, as well as music, movies, etc.). Click on the “podcasts” drop down menu and choose the category you want. Once you find a show of interest, click to open the full schedule and then click on their “subscribe” button. Episodes wont’ start to download automatically, so I usually click on the “Free” button on the far right for a few episodes that look interesting. The next time I plug my phone into my laptop the latest episodes start to download once I click the refresh button in iTunes. Here is Apple’s quick instruction guide

 Note that podcasts are either video, audio, or a mix of video and audio episodes. I generally consume only audio podcasts (I’m almost always on the move when listening to podcasts, so video doesn’t work). In iTunes, you will see a little video icon in the episode listings.

All smartphones will have multiple options for downloading and listening to podcasts, like the Podcasts app for iphones, the Blackberry Podcasts app, or Nobex-radio and podcasts for Blackberry, and the iPP Podcast Player for Android (that accesses your iTunes library).

Some tips for listening to podcasts

Downloading the latest episodes and syncing your phone can take a few minutes. I usually plug in my phone and get the updates and sync started about 15 minutes before I head out the door. If I’m going on a road trip the next morning look for a couple of longer interviews I can enjoy.

A little secret I learned a long time ago was to listen to some of the more verbose hosts at 1.5 speed. It’s surprising, but your ear will adjust quite quickly to the faster pace. I still get what I want and in a lot less time! Depending on what player you are using, there should be a small symbol that shows “1X”. Click on that symbol and it should rotate through different play back speeds.

When I’m enjoying podcasts I’m also listening for ideas I can use in my life or business. Some of the gems I’ve gotten have been huge (like Joe Polish repeating the John Carlton advice “Enter the conversation already going on in your prospect’s mind”). Or sometimes, I hear a great reminder that I knew about but haven’t acted on.

Either way, I have to record them or they’re gone. I’ve found the fastest (albeit crude) way to do this is with a quick email to myself. If I’m sitting in an airport lounge I’ll open Notes on my iphone, compile a list of ideas and then send the list to myself.

Podcasts are a pretty amazing way to get entertainment and education wherever and whenever you want. With a little experimentation you’ll soon have a library of favorites that go wherever you go. And if you enjoy a certain episode, take a few seconds and tweet it out to your followers – it let’s the host know what works and it’s good karma. Enjoy!

PS. Did I forget to mention I have a podcast! Check out Experts Enterprise here.