Interview with Scott Paton

Seth: Welcome to the Direct Response Marketing Magic podcast. I am your host, Seth Greene. And today, I have the great fortune of interviewing podcaster extraordinaire, Scott Paton. Scott, welcome to the show.

Scott: Hi Seth. Happy to be here.

Seth: We greatly appreciate it. I’m going to make you go back in time a little bit and ask you, how did you get started?

Scott: I got started kicking and screaming, resisting it with every fiber of my being. It was the spring of 2005 and unfortunately the owner of the company I worked for passed away. He was only 35 years old and the people that took over were afraid that the company would go down because he was so closely associated with the company. So they decided to go around the world and do boot camps on internet marketing and they asked me to speak for two hours on blogging on a Saturday night. And I knew one thing and that was if after sitting for 12 hours listening to my boss and then having this big meal and then listening to me for two hours didn’t put them to sleep, nothing would. I need to talk about something else and I’ve been hearing about podcasting. And I thought, ah, I don’t want to learn this. I’m overwhelmed with learning. And then to may shock and amazement, in 20 minutes after I decided well, I should just do it and see, I had one up and had downloaded it and had been working. And I was just amazed at how easy it was.

Seth: And what happened? So you had one up. You got started. What did you originally start out podcasting about? Were you the one doing the show? Or were you interviewing other people?

Scott: To promote the internet. Actually, I interviewed my new boss and it was an internet marketing podcast because the company was an internet marketing center. So I just talked about things that were going on in the world of internet marketing.

Seth: And were you the sole person on that show? Or were you interviewing other folks?

Scott: I like interviewing other folks simply because I find the energy is easier to maintain. And I’m not a real monologue type of person. So most of the time, I’d have a co-host or I do an interview style podcast.

Seth: And do you know how many – obviously, when you started, you probably had zero listeners and you were talking to the recorder in the air. Do you know how many subscribers you have now?

Scott: Not at all. My internet marketing podcast I should say has about 75,000 subscribers and about 10,000 or 15,000 downloads per month.

Seth: That’s incredible. So obviously, you’re doing something right.

Scott: Yeah. Well, all I’m doing is talking for both 20 minutes and somehow people like to listen to it.

Seth: What do you wish you knew when you started that you know now?

Scott: Wow. That’s an interesting question. I think really I would have to say I wish I had used Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and some of the social media sites a lot more because – I just did the podcast. I also have a weight loss podcast. And then our first year, we had 300,000+ subscribers and 3 quarters of a million downloads. And at that time, I just said I just want to see what would happen if all we did was podcast. So we did nothing. And when I think about the internet marketing one as well, we didn’t do much. So I just think being able to leverage all of these social media sites when they were just starting would have just taken us to another level.

Seth: I would agree absolutely 100 percent. Other than that, I find that obviously we talk to some of the most successful marketers and podcasters and stuff like that in the world we can learn incredible lessons from their success and what they did to become successful but we can even learn more from avoiding some of the so called million dollar mistakes they have made. What has been your biggest mistake? And what have you learned from it?

Scott: The biggest mistake I think was not focusing. I did an alternative health podcast, a personal development podcast, an internet marketing podcast, a weight loss podcast, a yoga podcast. I mean it just goes on and on and on. I probably have been involved in 30 or 40 different podcasts over the last 10 years. And all I was thinking was wow, this is really interesting technology. And I found people that are really interesting and I want to do a podcast with them. And I never really focused on presenting myself as the single expert in either one of those fields or in podcasting. And now, I’m just focusing a lot more just on being the expert in podcasting. But when I look back over the 10 years or if you do a search on my name in iTunes, you’ll see all of these topics. And of course, none of them fit in terms of building a singular brand. So I’m just basically all over the place. So I think focus would be absolutely the billion dollar mistake.

Seth: I will agree with that. I mean I tell our clients and I’ve written about it in my books that 50 percent of the success or failure of any marketing campaign which a podcast could be considered, is the proper selection of, target market. So focus would be exactly that.

Scott: Yup.

Seth: Now, you’ve been a part of so many not only podcasts but businesses and ventures. I have to ask you as a serial entrepreneur myself, what is your biggest challenge now?

Scott: It’s the same thing actually but I’m focused on focusing. I can put it that way. I’m really narrowing and narrowing and narrowing down what I’m doing.

Seth: Focused on focus. That actually could probably a good bumper sticker, focused on focusing.

Scott: There are just too many shiny objects and I’m really just saying no to – learning to say no is the biggest thing.

Seth: Learning to say no. I think that is a huge lesson considering we all probably suffer so much from shiny object syndrome.

Scott: Yeah.

Seth: Is this podcast your most successful one? Or has something else that you’ve done eclipsed even this?

Scott: I would say the Weight Loss and the Mind podcast was the most successful one.

Seth: The weight loss one. And second one is?

Scott: It’s called Weight Loss and the Mind.

Seth: Weight Loss and the Mind. Okay. You’re involved in a number of different niches obviously and I know from listening to some of your podcasts that you are a voracious learner, so how do you stay on top of all of the constant sea of change going on in every industry you’re involved in?

Scott: I don’t. I depend on the experts to do that. So I take the role of either the student or the reporter. I mean I do have an interest in the areas. They’re not stuff that I’m not interested in which helps but what I tend to do is try to draw that information out of either the guest or the co-host and then that’s how I learn.

Seth: Absolutely. What periodicals, trade journals, magazines, what do you read every month?

Scott: Yeah, I read a lot but I have an app called Zite.

Seth: Is that the app that lets you create like almost your own curated news magazine?

Scott: It is.

Seth: I love that.

Scott: Yeah. Me too. I can just put in weight loss or internet marketing or podcasting or whatever the topics are that I’m interested in. It’ll show me a bunch of articles and then if I give it a thumbs-up, it learns and it shows me more and more of those articles. I only get on it usually in the evening for an hour but then what I do is I tweet or I post on Facebook any of the articles that I think I want to delve into in more detail later and want to share with my following. So I find that in a very short period of time I have access to quite a bit of information that’s usually within a day of being published on my topic.

Seth: I would agree with that. Trying to stay on top of everything with Zite is very, very helpful. What are three of the best books you’ve ever read that have had the most impact on your work? And you can’t quote the Bible or something that you are the author of.

Scott: Well, the one that popped into my head the second you said it was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Seth: Every single week, I do another episode and I ask that question. And without a doubt every single week, no matter who I interview that is one of the three because it has impacted so many of us in so many ways. Can you come up with two more?

Scott: Two more. Well, let me just go look at my library.

Seth: Turn around. Roll the chair over.

Scott: Anything by Seth Godin gets like 15 thumbs-up. Anything by him I just think is absolutely amazing plus they’re short reads which means you can review them again, again and again. And then Blue Ocean, Red Ocean. I’m not sure who that was by but it’s totally changed how I look at my business and how I also look at my clients’ businesses.

Seth: Absolutely. Great books, great recommendations for our listeners who haven’t read those yet.

Scott: Absolutely.

Seth: And you are associated with a whole lot of different things obviously, the different ventures and niches that you play in. What are you finding across the board? I know the podcast industry obviously (A) now exists, (B) has exploded. And how are you other than the fact that some of your podcasts have hundreds of thousands of followers, how are – but there might be 300 weight loss podcasts or maybe 1000 marketing podcasts. How are you differentiating yourself from all the other folks clamoring for attention?

Scott: I would say that when you look at doing a search on say weight loss in Google you’ll have 100 million or a billion results pop up. I mean it’s just a massive amount of information online. When you do the same sort of thing in iTunes, they’ll be a fair number but not nearly as many. Because podcasts are multitasking things you’re usually do something while you’re listening to them, so the consumption rate gets really high. So those people who are interested in your topic, they could run through 5 or 10 or 15 podcasts every couple of months or every week. It depends on how fanatical they are about it.

And what will happen is people that like your voice and your manner and the way that you communicate will gravitate towards you. The ones that don’t will go away. And I remember listening to a podcast with this lady and she had a squealy, squeaky, scratchy voice that just grated on me and I thought she was terrible. It came up in a conversation and the person that I was talking to said, “I love her, all that she shares and the way she shares it.” I just shut up and I said, “wow, like everybody has things that they like and things they don’t like.” Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean they’re not a lot of people that do like it.

So I really think that if you just spend – this is what I tell everybody. Spend 20 minutes a day talking about something with somebody or by yourself about something that you like that involves your business. I mean you could totally do it as a volunteer hobby but I don’t think you need to. You’ll help people that listen to it and then it grows. They’ll share it and you tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter. And all of a sudden, it will just grow and you need to – a friend of mine said this about YouTube. He said, you do a video and you do a video and you do a video and you got one view and one view and two views. And then all of a sudden after months, you’ve got like 10,000 views. I think it’s kind of the same with podcasting. You just keep putting that information out and then people share it. And the people that like you and are your community and are your tribe or however you want to describe your following, it will grow because they will share it with their friends and their friends and their friends.

And I think – and I’ve seen that where we’ve had a huge jump in listeners and it’s like, why? And then we figure out, oh, it was this person on this blog. And I went three times to the post where she said nice things about our podcast. And it was only on the third time I actually found the link I was looking for but it wasn’t underlined. And I was like, how did any of these people find the link? I don’t know but they did. Clicked through and they subscribed. So that’s what I think is the most important part of this.

Seth: That is great feedback and a great advice. For our listeners who are resonating with what you’re saying and your amazing and incredible journey, is there a website you want them to go to so they can get more from you or a particular podcast you want them to subscribe to?

Scott: I have a fairly new website I just launched called powerpodcasters.com. And from there, I put a number of hangouts that I’ve done that – it’s basically focused on how to improve your podcasting but there’s also a link to my brand new Power Podcast course as well as a good discount over the regular price for anyone that wants to check it out.

Seth: Okay. Well, thank you so much. It’s been an honor to interview you. We’ve been here with Scott Paton, podcast extraordinaire of powerpodcasters.com and many other places I’m sure you can find online. Thank you so much. It’s been an honor and a privilege and I greatly appreciate you being on the show.

Scott: Thanks Seth. I appreciate you having me. Bye, bye.