Strategies for Effective Listening: A Conversation with Molly Ruland – Part 1
“It just feels better to listen to somebody who sounds good. It just does, you know? And there’s all kinds of articles you can read about the psychology: you sound smarter when you sound better, you sound more trustworthy when you sound better. So it’s not about manipulating people.” — Molly Ruland
My next guest is the CEO and founder of Heartcast Media, a digital content agency focused on content marketing for founders, CEOs, coaches, and brands. She specializes in producing high-quality branded video content for businesses that want to generate revenue and create strategic relationships through content marketing. She’s a frequent speaker about the business of podcasting, marketing, and content creation. She believes that “listening is the revolution” and it’s evident in the work she produces, with multiple podcasts in the top ten percent of downloads. She currently lives in Costa Rica with her four dogs and runs her global business remotely.
Her name is Molly Ruland, and she has a lot of knowledge when it comes to branded podcasts, helping beginners sound good, and getting right to the heart of what a branded podcast can – and can’t – do for a company. She very generously shares that knowledge with us today, so stay tuned!
As always, if you have questions for my guest, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in the show notes. If you have questions for me, visit audiobrandingpodcast.com where you’ll find a lot of ways to get in touch. You can also join regular Clubhouse chats in The Power of Sound House, at 2pm Eastern every Wednesday. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter will let you know when the new podcasts are available and what the newest Clubhouse rooms will be about. And if you’re getting some value from listening, the best ways to show your support are to share this podcast with a friend and leave an honest review. Both those things really help – and I’d love to feature your review on future podcasts. You can leave one either in written or in voice format from the podcast’s main page. I would so appreciate that.
Traditional Irish Things
As we start things off, Molly tells us about her earliest memories of sound and the memorable musical impression that growing up in an Irish family left on her. “We grew up doing all the very traditional Irish things,” she explains. “I played the tin whistle, I played the concertina… we did the traditional Irish dancing.” Molly tells us about the artists and musicians in her family, including the relative whose dancing shoes are on display at the Smithsonian. “We’re an emotional group,” she says, “us Irish people, and transfer that to our music.”
What We Want Out of Life
We go on to talk about what brought her to Costa Rica and how the Coronavirus helped her embrace her role as a global remote entrepreneur. “I think in the pandemic,” she notes, “we were all given a gift of really trying to get a handle on what it is we want out of life” Molly tells us how living in a rural village has helped her get back in touch with nature and given her a new perspective than she had in Washington D.C. “I couldn’t tell you what was going on,” she recalls, “because I was surrounded by concrete buildings all the time.”
Stock Photos and Johnny Carson
“I think podcasting is the only thing where people set out to buy the crappiest equipment possible,” Molly tells us. “If you sound like you’re in a tuna can or a trash can, you’re not going to get results” We talk about the underrated importance of podcasting equipment, especially a quality microphone, and the misconceptions some of the most iconic media images have created. “I blame stock photos and Johnny Carson,” she adds, “’cause you know like they always have the microphone on the desk, and it’s not even plugged in.”
Creating a Runway
As the first half of our discussion comes to a close, we talk about Molly’s advice for new podcasters and her strategies for effective listening. “I always say let’s start at the beginning,” she says. “Let’s define what success looks like, and then let’s think about it.” She tells us about the distinction between podcasting for an audience vs. podcasting as a networking tool, and how often its value in connecting hosts and guests is overlooked. “If you’re interviewing people you don’t want to do business with,” she explains, “specifically with a branded podcast, then you’re wasting you’re time” Molly offers tips for establishing and maintaining a rapport with episode guests, and the future of podcasting as a networking tool. “It’s all about that amplification,” she adds, “and creating a runway to work with people again.”
- Molly’s connection to music through her Irish relatives.
- How the pandemic helped her reevaluate her priorities and relocate to Costa Rica.
- The value of a high-quality microphone to podcasters and entrepreneurs alike.
- Figuring out the goal of a podcast and whether it needs mass marketing.
- The importance of valuing and maintaining one’s connection with guests.
Tune in next week as Molly talks about how a last-minute request for audiobooks helped change the way her company does business, the unexpected pitfalls of trying to create a sales funnel, and Molly’s advice to other women who might be trying to break into a male-dominated industry.
Connect with the Guest
Content Marketing Assessment Tool: https://www.heartcastmedia.com/content-marketing-assessment/
Connect with Molly Ruland on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heartcastmedia/
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.